Updated: March 14, 2023

Cybercriminals Target Popular Children's Games Through Parents' Smartphones

In 2022, cybercriminals launched over 7 million attacks against major children's game titles, including spoofing Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite, and Apex Legends games to target parents’ smartphones.

Cybercriminals use phishing assaults on parents' smartphones to target children's games.

In 2022, cybercriminals launched over 7 million attacks on minors using popular game titles, a 57% increase over 2021.

And, because youngsters in this age bracket frequently do not have their own computer and instead use their parents', the threats are suspected to be targeted at getting credit card data and credentials from the parent, according to a Kaspersky report.

These phishing attempts included pages that enticed young players by imitating global titles such as Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite, and Apex Legends games. In total, almost 878,000 phishing pages for these four games were produced in 2022.

Attackers purposefully develop bogus game sites to entice children to click on phishing links and download dangerous files. According to the survey, 232,735 gamers encountered nearly 40,000 files, including malware and possibly unwanted apps, masquerading as the most popular children's games in 2022.

This has resulted in a 14% increase in the number of casualties, up from 33,000 in 2021.

The most typical social engineering strategies used to target young gamers include offers to download popular cheats and mods for games, along with instructions on how to correctly install the cheat. These instructions emphasize the importance of disabling antivirus software before installing a file.

This may not alert young players, but it could be deliberately designed to prevent malware from being detected on the infected device. According to the report, the longer the user's antivirus is stopped, the more information may be captured from the victim's device.

Games aimed for children aged 3 to 8 years old, such as Poppy Playtime and Toca Life World, were also shown to have been targeted.

"By 2022, fraudsters had even hacked games designed for youngsters aged 3 to 8. This demonstrates that fraudsters do not limit their targets by age and assault even the youngest players, with the likely goal of reaching their parents' machines," said Vasily M. Kolesnikov, a security expert at Kaspersky.



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