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"Hail to the Horde!" - about phishing emails. Phishing is by all means the most widespread type of online gaming frauds.
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The purpose of this kind of attack at gamers is most commonly targeted at getting unauthorized access to gamer's account information. With this kind of access the attacker may later on exploit the account further for other fraud activities. Wave of game-related phishing attacks started for good few years back and still up to this day hundreds of examples can be found of such malicious attempts - the scale of how those phishing attempts are widespread can only confirm one thing - that still a lot of players are falling to them and become unaware victims. Another grave danger comes from compromised game accounts - most of the players tend to use the same credentials for their gaming account as for their private or corporate access - if the attackers already got access to your video game account, what stops them from accessing your other accounts, that may contain much more sensitive information. The attack pattern of phishing emails can vary slightly but there are some common elements that you should be vigilant of:.
source email address ("From" field) - this will be 100% a spoofed address. What you see will resemble as much as possible the real, legitimate email address that could come from your game provider. Only by examining the source code of the email and viewing the email header you can check exactly what is the source of the message and that it is in reality completely different that way you see in your mail browser. your email address ("To" field) - beware that many times the address to which you receive the email is not the same email address you're using with your gaming account.
Many gamers are simply not checking this field. This is very important and allows already from beginning to classify the email as phishing attempt even without reading its content. email greeting - you will most likely never be addressed directly by your first or last name. What you will see here will be a brief "Hallo", "Dear valued customer", "Greetings" or similar. email signature - will indicate that it was send by Support Team, Account Team, Billing Team, Management Team or similar to stress the importance of the email, in most cases it does not mention any person by name. Signature will include as well links to the game provider - links here can be also spoofed or be legitimate to convince the recipient that the message is legitimate. email content will include a request for you to verify your data and access information by following a given link and providing input of those information in the browser.
At this point we have the most important element in the phishing email - the link provided in the content section will be 100% spoofed and re-directing you to a malicious website of the attacker. Other than request for verification the email may contain as well information that you have violated the conditions or rules of the game (very often the email will imply you are for example trying to sell your account and this is a breach of terms of service) and your account will be blocked unless you follow a given link and verify your data. Another popular pattern are emails stating that some of the information on your account has been modified (email, name, etc. ) recently which could potentially mean that it has been compromised (!) or that you will loose access to it as a result of the change.
As you obviously did not make any changes the requester ask you to follow the given link and verify your data. redirection to fake website - the website itself may look very professional and be almost a mirror of the legitimate site to convince the user again of its authenticity. Later on we will have a look at the real-life examples of fake login website. Below references will provide some examples and show that many online games are being targeted for potential phishing attacks. Don't feel secure though if your game haven't been listed here or targeted in the past - there is a really big chance the phishing attacks on it were/are happening as well. Phishing scam invades Star Wars online game.
Star Wars The Old Republic Phish: Scam You, it Will. Guild Wars 2 players targeted in phishing attacks. "Your gold is welcome here" - phishing targeting Battle. Net.