Video gaming is a large industry, with an expected market of $115 billion in 2018. As video game technology and consoles become more advanced, they can pose a risk for cybercrime. There are plenty of cases of gaming accounts being hacked, but can hackers attack the video game console itself?
There are several ways that cybercriminals can utilize video games as a target. The most valuable asset to them is user credentials, and these can be captured through various means, including phishing. With these credentials, the attacker can gain access to the user’s account, and steal in-game items that can then be sold on black market gaming websites.
In a write-up by Kaspersky, Brian Donohue addresses the PlayStation Network attack of 2011, one of the most famous gaming related breaches, which led to a network outage lasting almost a month. However, outside of network services being targeted, Donohue says that he is surprised that there haven’t been any attacks targeting consoles specifically.
When one considers that many consoles interface with devices such as microphones and cameras, it is surprising that consoles have not been a larger target. Also, in compromising a network, attackers will look for the least secure device to gain access to the rest of the network (See Also: Can Your Printer Put Your Whole Network at Risk?). It is refreshing to see that so far the devices seem to be secure, however I think it is only a matter of time before cyber criminals are able to breach these devices to access things like cameras, or to gain entry to the rest of a home or business network.
This topic does bring up the fact that people should be careful of other types of attacks, such as phishing scams or malware, that could lead to account credentials being stolen. This could lead not only to a loss of in-game inventories, but also a financial loss. If an account is compromised and is linked to a credit card, for example, the attackers could then make purchases on that card.