March 5, 2018
Organized cyber gangs are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in online theft every year.
For example, one gang that goes by the name of FIN6 allegedly filched more than 20 million stolen credit cards valued at up to $400 million on the black market, with at least $2 billion of exposure for the unlucky cardholders.
Yet even as online fraud has become more professionalized, there still lurks a significant cohort of cyber criminals who engage in fraud for the sheer thrill of it.
Many fraudsters are gamers who get an adrenaline rush by beating online games and gaming sites and their fraud prevention systems. It’s a thrill similar to triumphing over the best opponents or toughest obstacles in a game.
Yes, the financial payoff is great. But it’s even more rewarding for these particular fraudsters to be:
Fraudstorm, Creator of Chargebacks!
The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute conducted a Hacker’s Profiling Project (HPP) and identified nine hacker profiles. Three of the profiles perfectly fit this gamer-as-fraudster definition:
|Wanna Be Lamer||9-16 years old||For fashion, it’s “cool” to boast and brag|
|Script Kiddie||10-18 years old||To give vent to their anger/ attract mass media attention|
|Cracker||17-30 years old||To demonstrate their power/ attract mass media attention|
If you’re responsible for preventing fraud on an online games or gaming site, thinking about fraudster behavior in light of these motivations can be valuable to expanding your detection capabilities.
While there are certainly economic incentives for stealing in-game rewards, tokens, points, gold, etc., gamers-as-fraudsters may just find it cool to beat the system. Considering that 30% of cybercriminals are 10-20 years old, the excitement of being able to create a bot that can help him build up his account, for example, may be reward enough for a Script Kiddie.
Scott Adams, who has been at the front lines fighting fraud in the world of online gaming (most recently as Director of Fraud and Risk Management at Riot Games), cautions that only looking for financial crime may miss cause you to miss the bigger picture. To be sure, monetary losses are bad. But degraded game play can be even more destructive. Scott points out: “Ultimately, stopping fraud is not just about stopping financial losses, but also about maintaining the integrity of our games and providing our customers with the best experience possible.”
Fortunately, online game and gaming sites have plenty of data about gameplay that can provide real insight into who is and who isn’t legitimate on the site. For example, it can help identify a gamer using bots to create a bunch of new accounts to collect referral rewards. “By monitoring the initial gameplay of those ‘new players,’” Scott notes, “you might quickly determine that they continue to repeat the same mistake over and over and over, a sure giveaway that they’re not human players but dumb bots.”
Gear up and defeat those fraudsters trying to game your online game.
Download the eBook “Level Up Your Profits: Beat Fraud in Online Games and Gambling” and arm yourself to fight fraud in the online games and gaming world.