Gaming Apps as a Source of Mobile Phishing Attacks

October 2022

Whether you like to play games on your phone, tablet, or home computer, the unfortunate reality is that gaming platforms are more susceptible than ever to attacks. Specifically, recent web security studies have found that mobile games are becoming a major target for phishing attacks. These attacks, when successfully executed, can compromise sensitive data (including gaming log-in information and even payment data).

So, why are these apps becoming so vulnerable to threats – and what can you do to keep your information safer while you play your favorite games? Read on to learn more.

Why Are Gaming Apps Vulnerable?

A mobile security firm known as Wandera conducted a study on phishing attacks in 2017. The research found that games were the source of 25.6% of phishing attacks among a sampling of 100,000 devices tested.

What makes gaming apps so vulnerable to phishing schemes? The main culprit is the fact that hackers can relatively easily spoof “fake” copies of real gaming apps and trick unsuspecting gamers into downloading and using them. Once they enter their usernames and passwords into the fake app, these real credentials may be used to log into other accounts to steal data. Because some of these games also require in-app purchases, spoofs can collect payment information (such as credit card numbers) as well. According to the 2017 Wandera study, about 63% of mobile app phishing attacks were executed against iPhones, and 37% were against Androids.

Mobile gaming apps were also found to be at greater risk of security threats like credential stuffing, malware, and cheat code scams.

How to Protect Yourself While Gaming

There are many steps you can take to improve mobile gaming security while reducing your chances of falling victim to a phishing attack on an app. For starters, it’s always a good idea to download your games directly from the developer. When downloading directly from an app store (for Apple or Android), take some time to read reviews and ensure the app is from the original developer. This will help you avoid any fakes or spoofs that hackers may have created. When using a mobile gaming app, it’s also good to get into the habit of not clicking on in-app links or sharing payment data through the app itself.

One of the best steps you can take to protect yourself while gaming is to simply use a dedicated gaming server at all times. Specifically, a dedicated server host will provide you with a secure connection through which to enjoy all your favorite online games (whether on a mobile device or your computer). Meanwhile, dedicated servers also deliver greater reliability and speeds so that you can enjoy less lag and make the most of your gameplay.

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