CES this week has been full of video game announcements. From new games to new controllers to new systems, there’s a lot of innovation in gaming. The common thread tying it all together is connectivity.
We are now at a point where it is the exception that a game doesn’t have an online component. Shared worlds, seasons, multiplayer match-ups, bonus content, connecting a game offers a number of ways to enhance the experience.
It also opens up a variety of risks.
The impact of this attack for users of either of these services was that of disappointment. Imagine the excitement of getting a new game or system for the holiday and rushing to experience it…only to be unable to connect to the core supporting service.
Fortunately for users, this was a best case scenario. A simple denial of service.
We saw a poorer example in April of 2011, when Sony’s PlayStation Network was breached and information on 77 million accounts was stolen. This attack resulted in the network itself being offline for two weeks, a security update being pushed out to all connected devices, and the potential theft of thousands of credit cards.
Not only was this attack very expensive for Sony–to the tune of $171 million–but it highlights the risk to gamers.
Connected games and gaming networks are geared towards increasing social connections and revenue generation.
From the gamer perspective this means they store a map of our social connections (who we’re friends with, how often we talk, what we play, etc.) but also our billing information. Attackers can easily use this information for identity theft and financial fraud.
So what is a gamer to do?
We know that connected games are here to stay. FIFA 15 is a lot more fun when you’re playing against your friend overseas instead of the AI. Destiny is a lot more satisfying as a shared world rather than populate only by AI opponents. These games are enriched by their connectivity.
There are a few steps you should be taking to ensure your gaming experience is as safe as possible:
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