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Cyber-criminals Targeting Online Gaming Websites

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the no-its-all-your-fault dept.

Security 62

adeelarshad82 writes "According to a June 2010 Nielsen NetView survey on Internet usage, online gaming has overtaken e-mail in terms of the total percentage of time Americans spend online. Only social networking scores higher. On average, online gaming now consumes a staggering 407 million hours of U.S. citizens' time per year. Unfortunately, Nielsen's not the only one that noticed this trend; cybercriminals have taken note as well and are taking advantage of this by infecting games sites—from legitimate forums and tutorial sites to shadier download sites—to attack the unwary. Fortunately though, Avast has published a list of worst gaming sites."

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Another security article boils down to one thing.. (3, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875512)

...keep your Anti-Virus software updated and running at all times.

Re:Another security article boils down to one thin (2, Interesting)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875700)

Honestly I'm beginning to think I'm better off with a hardened router with no upnp enabled and rules for traffic on certain ports. a good firewall is a convenient way to track what programs are going in/out but the AV sucks up too many cpu cycles.

Re:Another security article boils down to one thin (2, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875924)

AV programs tend to be easily bypassed. Instead, use what the parent suggested, but add AdBlock, IP blackholing, sandboxie, BetterPrivacy, and other items. These utilities will do a better job for keeping the Web browser from being a vector of infection than any AV software out there. If you need AV for Windows, grab MSE and call it done. If really paranoid, run your browsing in a VM that rolls back all changes.

My solution (3, Informative)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 3 years ago | (#33876494)

If you need some decently secure web browsing, boot a Knoppix CD. By default it doesn't even mount your hard drives. And all changes to the ram side of the unionfs filesystem expire with a reboot.

Re:My solution (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33876888)

Some people want to actually use their computer.

Re:My solution (2, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 3 years ago | (#33877608)

Oh that's right - I forgot. Knoppix runs on unicorn farts and zero point energy to make pictures on the screen. Never even touches the CPU. I should have mentioned that.

Thanks for the reminder.

Re:My solution (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882830)

Knoppix should be in every person's toolbox. I use it for recovering systems, as well as zeroing out drives and partition tables before installing an OS.

However, that is a good point: If you need to do something without leaving a footprint on the system, or have all persistent data be moved to an encrypted (LUKS or TC) storage medium, Knoppix excels at this.

Re:Another security article boils down to one thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33880226)

but I have already become frequent guest of www.flashgame001.com ,they offer high quality amusing flashgames.

Re:Another security article boils down to one thin (0, Redundant)

waazula001 (1892728) | more than 3 years ago | (#33880306)

take time to indulge in www.flashgame001.com

Re:Another security article boils down to one thin (1)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 3 years ago | (#33883534)

My Level 80 Rogue shall stop them! Stop! Ninja Time!

The list (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33875554)

Ok, here is the list of the worst offenders:

  Gamesfactoryinteractive.com

  Games-digest.com

  Mariogamesplay.com

  Anywhere-games.com

  Galacticflashgames.com

  Towerofdefense.com - hmm, this is one of the favourites of my kids...

So how do I set up my kid's netbooks (Firefox on WinXP) to not go there, for all accounts?

Re:The list (5, Informative)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875624)

C:\WINDOWS\DRIVERS\ETC\HOSTS
0.0.0.0 Gamesfactoryinteractive.com
0.0.0.0 Games-digest.com
0.0.0.0 Mariogamesplay.com
0.0.0.0 Anywhere-games.com
0.0.0.0 Galacticflashgames.com
0.0.0.0 Towerofdefense.com

Re:The list (3, Informative)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875768)

C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC\HOSTS
0.0.0.0 Gamesfactoryinteractive.com
0.0.0.0 Games-digest.com
0.0.0.0 Mariogamesplay.com
0.0.0.0 Anywhere-games.com
0.0.0.0 Galacticflashgames.com
0.0.0.0 Towerofdefense.com

FTFY.

Re:The list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33875964)

C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC\HOSTS

0.0.0.0 Gamesfactoryinteractive.com

0.0.0.0 Games-digest.com

0.0.0.0 Mariogamesplay.com

0.0.0.0 Anywhere-games.com

0.0.0.0 Galacticflashgames.com

0.0.0.0 Towerofdefense.com

FTFY.

IOAURGHAKWJFGUAKRWGAHWEUIFGASUIA.

Re:The list (0, Redundant)

waazula001 (1892728) | more than 3 years ago | (#33880344)

www.flashgame001.com, are there any better sites than this one that offer flashgames? original ones?

Re:The list (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875630)

Is there an equivalent to /etc/hosts in WinXP? That would be a reasonable first step (point entries to 127.0.0.1 or whatever).

Obviously this isn't robust and could be easily be thwarted with a proxy, the knowledge IP address, root access, etc., but it's super-easy to implement (for a *NIX user).

Re:The list (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875636)

Direct those urls to 127.0.0.1 in the hosts file.

Re:The list (3, Informative)

killmenow (184444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875638)

Start->Run->"notepad c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts"

Go to new blank line and copy/paste:

127.0.0.1 gamesfactoryinteractive.com
127.0.0.1 games-digest.com
127.0.0.1 mariogamesplay.com
127.0.0.1 anywhere-games.com
127.0.0.1 galacticflashgames.com
127.0.0.1 towerofdefence.com

(Save the file)

Profit.

Re:The list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33875688)

I believe you need a restart in Windows before you can profit, I could be wrong though.

Re:The list (1, Troll)

electron sponge (1758814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875762)

You're correct. You do need a reboot before the changes will take effect.

Re:The list (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33875862)

You don't have to reboot windows for host file changes to take affect, at least I have never needed to on Windows 2000, XP, Vista or 7....

You might have to close your web browser, in rare cases an ipconfig /flushdns but reboot isn't needed.

Re:The list (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875802)

In Vista and later, you'll have to open notepad with "Run as administrator...", or you'll be denied access.

New process: Start -> "notepad c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts" (without quotes) -> ctrl-shift-enter -> Allow escalation, then continue as above

Re:The list (2, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33876880)

If you have kids with PCs I would suggest Comodo Time Machine [comodo.com] . Sure you can do as another poster suggest and use the HOSTS file to block just these sites, but then you are in an arms race with the malware guys you are bound to lose. With time Machine you can send the OS "back in time" to before they did something stupid, and in my experience it only uses around 20Mb of RAM, trivial with today's machines.

As for the other posters complaining about high AV CPU usage? I've found Comodo Internet Security [comodo.com] uses on average less than 45Mb of RAM and less than 1% CPU when running real time monitoring, and around 8% when it updates itself. It also has built in sandboxing on ALL executables by default, and you can set any executable to only run in or out of the sandbox if you'd like. The AV, Time Machine, and Internet Security (which combines their excellent firewall with Comodo AV) is 100% free, no nagware, no email required. You can even choose to use their secure DNS if you'd like which black holes known infected sites until they clean up their act.

I don't work for the company or have any affiliation, just a humble PC repair guy that got tired of seeing his customers get burnt by bugs or bad AV. with Comodo I haven't seen a single bug on installed machines, and this is with customers that can pick up more bugs than a Bangkok Whore, so you KNOW it has got to be good! But with kids besides making them low rights users by default a combo of Comodo AV and Time Machine will not only keep the bugs out, but if they manage to bork something beyond booting you can just hit F11 and restore it from the preboot environment. My GF lives nearly 2 hours away and having Time Machine was a life saver when she forgot to log off and her niece completely borked XP! try them, I bet you'll like them, and for free, what's to lose? One warning though: DO NOT use Time Machine in a dual boot with windows 7! It won't harm anything, it just won't run because the latest windows changes drive letters so wherever you install it becomes the C: drive when it is running, which Time Machine couldn't track. But I'm not only running all of the above on multiple machines, I have customers, friends, and family all on it and they work like a charm.

Re:The list (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33880260)

Why not just use the built in System Restore on Windows? Is there a major problem with it? It's always worked when my kids have creatively fsked up Windows.

Re:The list (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33881776)

Because there are plenty of bugs out there that have figured how to infect system restore? if you want security advice, ask a PC repair guy. We have had to deal with every kind of nasty there is out there. And more than a few times I have seen every. single. restore. point. infected by a nasty. Not only does Time Machine lock itself down so that can't happen, but at install it creates a baseline point so ANY time you can go back to that point. Also system restore is set by default to only use 10% of the drive, and if you do a lot of installs or changes it will start deleting previous points. it really don't take long on a heavily used system before you may end up only being able to go back a day or two, and if it was longer than that? Borked.

Finally system restore is a royal PITA to use if you end up with an unbootable PC. Here is how easy it was to walk my GF through restoring her unbootable XP with Time Machine. 1.-"Honey, restart your machine and when you see the clock press the key it lists for home (F11 on most PCs)" Okay, I did that. 2.-"when did your niece come by, today? Send it back to yesterday" Okay, it is doing it and now says it needs to reboot. 3.-"Pick okay and then just let it reboot and run normally" Okay....Hey my desktop is back! My geeky BF comes through again!"

See how easy that was? And that was me walking someone with NO PC skills through a full restore of an unbootable machine from 200 miles away. It just don't get any easier than that. Now if you wanted to run both Time Machine will NOT in any way, shape, or form, mess up system restore. But why would you? Time Machine is better than system restore in every. single. way.

Re:The list (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33880254)

So how do I set up my kid's netbooks (Firefox on WinXP) to not go there, for all accounts?

I am amazed that you actually got some sensible answers rather than the expected "Windoze is 4 luzrs, use GNU Hurd instead".

Gaming Websites?? (3, Insightful)

Modern (252880) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875610)

Those must be the most infested, never before known gaming websites in internet history. I think they must of paid somebody to put those sites in the article.

Re:Gaming Websites?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33875876)

No kidding. I of never heard have any have them before.

Re:Gaming Websites?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33875916)

You mean "Must've" which is the abbreviation of "Must have".

Re:Gaming Websites?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33878000)

You mean "Must've" which is the abbreviation of "Must have".

Thank you. I'm putting lotion on my hives right now.

Must of. Oh god, there they go again.

407e6 (5, Insightful)

dhTardis (1326285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875652)

On average, online gaming now consumes a staggering 407 million hours of U.S. citizens' time per year.

A whole hour and 18 minutes per person per year? That's nearly 0.0015% of the time! I don't see how the US ever gets anything done at that rate.

Re:407e6 [Mod Parent Up Please] (1)

/dev/zero (116295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875906)

Indeed; this was my first thought also. Hardly staggering at all, is it? I'd mod you up + Informative had I mod points to do so.

The innumeracy of the summary, OTOH, is staggering... Come on, people, at least do a quick back-of-the-envelope sanity check, OK?

Re:407e6 [Mod Parent Up Please] (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33877030)

innumeracy of the summary, OTOH, is staggering... Come on, people, at least do a quick back-of-the-envelope sanity check, OK?

Envelope? I've heard of that, I think, but where might I find one?

(Oh, wait; I found one. It was down in the basement, right there on a shelf next to the typewriter. ;-)

Re:407e6 [Mod Parent Up Please] (1)

AlamedaStone (114462) | more than 3 years ago | (#33878072)

Envelope? I've heard of that, I think, but where might I find one?

Glass houses, kid. I remember when I read this [ufopinball.com] and laughed. Learn from my mistake. It will happen to you too!

Oh, and get the hell off my lawn.

Re:407e6 (2, Interesting)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33876444)

That number has to be off by a lot. There are what? 8 million WoW players? If WoW was the only game in the US, each WoW player would only be playing 51 hours a year? I've known people who logged that much time every week in that game and even my friend with 2 kids gets at least 8 hours of WoW a week.

Re:407e6 (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 3 years ago | (#33877028)

I know people who log twice that every week, and amazingly enough, almost 3 times that on some weeks (release days).

Re:407e6 (1)

Cussin_IT (1143215) | more than 3 years ago | (#33878504)

Not necessarily: If you assume that half of the population aren't (online) gamers, then the number of hours per gamer doubles.

I'd be willing to guess that only one person in 5 is tech-savy enough to be a gamer (remember that 'the population' includes octogenarians and infants), and that only half of them actually are, meaning that each gamer in this senario is clocking up an average of 510 hours per year, or 9 and a bit per week.

Re:407e6 (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33884018)

He's talking about WoW subscribers, those are definitely online gamers or they wouldn't pay 15$ a month for a specific online game.

Re:407e6 (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33880266)

Yes, because obviously you don't have to exclude all the non-internet users, all the non-gaming internet users and so on.

Worst gaming site list in case of slashdotting (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33875690)

Worst offenders, as of October 6, 2010:

  Gamesfactoryinteractive.com
  Games-digest.com
  Mariogamesplay.com
  Anywhere-games.com
  Galacticflashgames.com
  Towerofdefense.com
  ea.com

Terrible article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33875734)

"Nielsen's not the only one that noticed this trend; cybercriminals have taken note and are taking advantage of it, too, infecting games sites—from legitimate forums and tutorial sites to shadier download sites—to attack the unwary."

Infecting them with what? Themselves? The article gives no details about how criminals use gaming sites.

"Avast's worst offenders, as of October 6, 2010:.."

Why are these the worst? How do they do harm in a capacity the others do not?

What does visiting them actually do?

Gambling? (2, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875736)

Now, by gambling, do they mean e-trade and td-datek-ameritrade or whatever its called now?

Or checking out zillow zestimates and buying real estate, because real estate only goes up?

I believe second life got rid of all its casinos. Is second life still online?

Then theres the gamble of risking your reputation on online dating sites...

Gaming, exceeded only by social networking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33875754)

So which category are they counting my pr0n in?

(Seriously, there's 8 posts and none of them mention this. How /. has fallen...)

Pr0n? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875780)

So whats up with the 'if all us internet time were condensed into one hour' not having any time for pr0n? Or is that assumed diplomatically to be the 20m 36s piece of the pie chart?

What the heck is a portal and what have people been doing there for 2m 36s out of every internet hour? Is that the "make AOL your homepage" that only newbies do?

Re:Pr0n? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 3 years ago | (#33880922)

Portals are what you're not thinking in. They're also where all the cake is, as reputable sources tell me.

...or they're these AOLish websites offered by every single ISP, TV station, webmail provider, gas station...

What's Wrong With Slashdot This Week ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33875798)

Is this Cyber-Alert Week for the Obamarama Cyber-Security Team hyped by the propaganda from
Richard Clarke [npr.org] .

Yours In Moscow,
Kilgore Trout, C.I.O.

So Avast loosing market share? (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875826)

I read the summary as "Avast is loosing market share and are desperately trying to increase shareholder value". That is pretty how I read all the press-releases from anti-virus vendors who "discover" that "the virus" is being spread on the "Internets". BUY OUR PRODUCT OR YOUR COMPUTER IS GOING TO EXPLODE! Maby these viruses really are a big problem. I don't know and don't really care, I use GNU/Linux

Re:So Avast loosing market share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33875910)

And I pooped in the bathtub.

Free wasn't enough? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#33876418)

I'd agree with you if I hadn't been using their service for around 5 years for free, and had all my friends and relatives who needed a good home AV also use it for free.

They do have a paid version, but the free version is just fine. All they ask for is a little information you input yourself so its not like you even need to tell the truth except for a valid email address.

Surprise! Summary is wrong! (1)

Myji Humoz (1535565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875890)

According to TFA US citizens spend 407 million hours a MONTH on online games, not 407 million hours a year. Slight difference.

Gaming is 10% of the time spend online now, and it's pretty obvious that the average American spends more than 4 hours a year online.

Re:Surprise! Summary is wrong! (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875980)

As someone up above posted, that's still only 1 hour, 18 minutes per month. That doesn't seem like much... but then I start to consider that probably a small fraction actually plays online games... I bet the mode (to the nearest hour) is probably closer to 20 hours a month than 1.

Re:Surprise! Summary is wrong! (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 3 years ago | (#33877898)

As someone up above posted, that's still only 1 hour, 18 minutes per month. That doesn't seem like much... but then I start to consider that probably a small fraction actually plays online games...

I think it also depends on whether the respondents who play Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc. classified their time spent on those games as Online Games or Social Network. I definitely have a hard time imagining 1hr 18min/month average with all the Facebook games thrown in.

Sites powered by Google Ads (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33875912)

Looking at the list of "evil sites":

  • Gamesfactoryinteractive.com - not in DNS, not in Whois. The article probably has the domain wrong.
  • Games-digest.com - domain registered in Korea.
  • Mariogamesplay.com - has Google ads
  • Anywhere-games.com - has Google ads
  • Galacticflashgames.com - On Google's "This site may harm your computer" list, yet it contains Google ads.
  • Towerofdefense.com - hosted by HostGator

I ran them all through SiteTruth [sitetruth.com] , which, unsurprisingly, can't find a legit business behind any of them and thus down-rates them as junk sites.

Re:Sites powered by Google Ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33876818)

it doesnt find anything for slashdot.org either.

As usual, THIS IS A WINDOWS PROBLEM (0, Redundant)

toby (759) | more than 3 years ago | (#33876506)

Typically not mentioned in summary.

Re:As usual, THIS IS A WINDOWS PROBLEM (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33876540)

Agreed. NOBODY uses WINDOWS anymore. Especially not those with poor security habits.

Re:As usual, THIS IS A WINDOWS PROBLEM (1)

devellison (1220282) | more than 3 years ago | (#33876646)

And not a C-64 problem, the OTHER system with lots of games also commonly used for website browsing...

Re:As usual, THIS IS A WINDOWS PROBLEM (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33877908)

They don't mention it because it's the only relevant OS, so it would take a giant fucking retarded dumbfuck to think they're talking about any other OS.

Re:As usual, THIS IS A WINDOWS PROBLEM (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 3 years ago | (#33883088)

This is a Games article. It doesn't need to.

What is the news here? (2, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33876738)

Criminals try to steal money? Hardly any news. Please come back when Cyber-criminals DON'T try to abuse a specific group of sites.

"Dog bites man" is not news. "Man bites dog" is.

so, other* == porn? (1)

TravisHein (981987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33877952)

Im sure they were trying to be family friendly with their questions, but realistically, there has to be (more than none at all), and it would be interesting to see if it was above or below the gambling use.
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