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Cyber-criminals Targeting Online Gaming Websites 62

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the no-its-all-your-fault dept.
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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Cyber-criminals Targeting Online Gaming Websites

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  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:15PM (#33875512)
    ...keep your Anti-Virus software updated and running at all times.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shoehornjob (1632387)
      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mlts (1038732) *

        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 (Score:4, Informative)

          by Weaselmancer (533834) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @05:33PM (#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.

    • by NetNinja (469346)

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

  • The list (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    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 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Stavr0 (35032) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:21PM (#33875624) Homepage Journal

      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

    • 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).
    • by Cwix (1671282)

      Direct those urls to 127.0.0.1 in the hosts file.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by killmenow (184444)
      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.
      • by adonoman (624929)
        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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hairyfeet (841228)

      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 o

      • by tehcyder (746570)
        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.
        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          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 dri

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      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?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Modern (252880) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:20PM (#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.

  • 407e6 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dhTardis (1326285) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:23PM (#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.

    • 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?

      • by jc42 (318812)

        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. ;-)

        • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nadaka (224565)

      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.

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

      • 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.

        • by KDR_11k (778916)

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

    • by tehcyder (746570)
      Yes, because obviously you don't have to exclude all the non-internet users, all the non-gaming internet users and so on.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Worst offenders, as of October 6, 2010:

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

  • Gambling? (Score:3, Funny)

    by vlm (69642) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:29PM (#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...

  • by vlm (69642)

    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?

    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      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...
  • 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
    • 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.

  • 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.
    • 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.

      • 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.

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @04:47PM (#33875912) Homepage

    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.

  • Typically not mentioned in summary.

  • by houghi (78078) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @05:56PM (#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.

  • 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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