Security & Fraud

Hackers Tricking Japan’s Mobile Gamers With Offers Of Fake Fantasy Cash

In Japan, gamers may be at risk of being played, by hackers.

Bloomberg News reports that hackers are luring gamers with “virtual trinkets” that help them infiltrate the corporate world — literally — by using the gamer as a gateway of sorts.

In one example, an employee in Japan at a high tech company had been “duped” by a fake promotion for “magic stones” used in an online game deployed via mobile device. The ruse, as FireEye explained, is one where hundreds of businesses are hacked and compromised on a monthly basis.

Using promotions as a backdoor into corporate data holds promise, said Bloomberg, which noted that one game, known as “Puzzle & Dragons,” has been downloaded tens of millions of times.

In an interview, Wias Issa, senior director at FireEye, who had oversight of the Japan operations for that company, told Bloomberg that “what makes Japan unique is that the gaming community spans demographics and age groups. You’re not going to get the same ‘kill rate’ in other countries.”

“These attackers will follow an economic trail,” Issa continued, “because they know the gaming companies have identified specific patterns of user behavior. They’ll take their time doing homework about what games are popular and what types of promotions are going on right now.”

As far as detecting and combatting breaches, the country has put in place a national center for strategy and “incident readiness” in Japan, but as of yet does not have laws in place mandating the disclosure of breaches.

In terms of demographics and spending firepower, in Japan people spend about $30 monthly on video games via smartphones, twice the rate seen in other countries, noted Bloomberg.

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