An illuminating new research report has found that more than three-quarters of all global cyber attacks between July and September targeted online gamers. The DDoS ‘threat research report’ from Nexusguard revealed that hackers are using a range of exotic-sounding techniques, from honeypots to botnet scanning, to identify targets and access their sensitive data.
The firm found that 76% of cyber criminals specifically targeted those playing online casino titles and other games – as well as online casinos and gaming sites themselves, and that was an increase of a staggering 287% on the same period in 2019.
Latency Issues & More People at Home
Clearly, internet fraudsters are spying an opportunity, with more people entertaining themselves at home these days during the pandemic rather than in land-based casinos or other entertainment venues. The apparent reasons for targeting the gaming industry seem to be issues surrounding latency, i.e. the speed with which data travels across the world wide web, which make DDoS – which is an acronym of ‘distributed denial of service’ – attacks all the easier to commit.
The Nexusguard report concludes with something of a warning – they claim that ‘sensitive detection’ and ‘high capacity mitigation’ alone are not enough fight off the risk of such attacks, and that if the online casino gaming industry is serious about providing unrivalled security, the industry must come together to share knowledge and best practices with one another.
“Online gaming is snowballing in part due to the growth of cloud computing as well as the limited options for home entertainment during the pandemic, providing cyber attackers with a wide population of targets to exploit,” the firm’s Juniman Kasman confirmed. “Game service providers, CSPs and other organizations should take steps to safeguard service, including segregating applications to minimize collateral damage or rehearsing incident response drills to reduce service disruption during attacks.”
How Do I Know If an Online Casino is Secure?
There are two ways to maximise your security when playing at an online casino. The first is to have your own house in order by implementing your own security, so if you’re gaming on a computer or laptop be sure to have up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your machine and that your firewall is up to date. You should also look at beefing up your login security, perhaps by using randomly generated passwords on each and every casino site that you frequent.
Look for Legitimate Operators
As far as the casino themselves are concerned, there are some ways you can ensure that you are gaming with legitimate operators that have your security in mind. The first is their licensing – if the firm is approved by the UK Gambling Commission, typically you would expect them to offer a secure gaming environment.
SSL & PCI
There are two acronyms you should also look out for, which a casino should publish on their site somewhere. SSL is a type of encryption that helps to keep your personal data safe, while PCI is another way of ensuring your private financial information is kept secure from prying eyes.
Some casino game software developers implement their own security too, so only play quality games from recognised suppliers, such as NetEnt, Microgaming, Play ‘n Go, Evolution and more besides. In the long run, you might just be thankful that you did.