Credential Stuffing: The Gaming Industry’s Silent Bot Threat

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Credential stuffing is a rampant form of cyberattack that has hit the gaming industry harder than most. Here’s an explanation of this sneaky bot-driven technique and gaming’s struggles to withstand it.

What is Credential Stuffing?

Credential stuffing leverages botnets to rapidly test stolen username/password pairs on websites and apps. By using known credentials from past data breaches, these bots overwhelm login systems in hopes of account takeover. The gaming industry’s high account value makes it a prime target.

How Are Gaming Credentials Obtained?

Gaming accounts are bought and sold on black markets daily. Account dump sites provide username/password lists to fuel credential stuffing bots. Compromised credentials also come from data breaches of gaming companies and platforms themselves.

Why Gaming Sites Are More Vulnerable

The vulnerability of gaming sites to credential stuffing attacks can be attributed to a combination of factors that set them apart from other industries:

1. High Account Value: Gaming accounts often hold substantial in-game assets, making them attractive targets for attackers seeking valuable loot or assets.

2. Credential Reuse: Gamers frequently reuse their credentials across multiple gaming sites, providing attackers with a larger pool of potentially compromised accounts to exploit.

3. Swift Account Processes: The gaming ecosystem is characterized by rapid account creation and logins, enabling bots to operate with exceptional speed and scale.

4. Lagging Defenses: Gaming platforms have been slower to implement robust APIs and effective bot detection techniques compared to other sectors, leaving them more susceptible to credential stuffing.

The Impact on Gaming Companies

The relentless onslaught of credential stuffing exerts a heavy toll on gaming platforms, manifesting in a range of adverse consequences:

1. Poor Customer Experience: Account lockouts and fraudulent activities significantly degrade the user experience, leading to dissatisfaction among players.

2. Gameplay and Economic Disruption: Account takeovers disrupt gameplay integrity and pose a threat to the economic stability of in-game ecosystems.

3. Infrastructure Strain: The sudden surges in bot traffic place considerable strain on platform infrastructure, affecting performance and responsiveness.

4. Resource Allocation: Engineering resources are diverted toward anti-bot efforts, often at the expense of other critical development work aimed at enhancing the gaming experience.

5. Policy Challenges: Gaming companies grapple with policy dilemmas related to account sharing and botting practices, further complicating the battle against credential stuffing.

Ongoing vigilance required

Credential stuffing presents complex challenges requiring a combination of security measures, bot mitigation, and user education. By understanding the specific threats bots pose to gaming, companies can tailor robust defenses over time. With collaboration across the industry, credential abuse can be minimized without diluting legitimate player access. Chat with a PhotonIQ Enterprise Solution Architect to learn how we can help identify and thwart bad bot activity.

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