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The role of cybersecurity in eSports

George Miller

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The role of cybersecurity in eSports
Photo Source: bloomberg.com
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

As the online gaming and esports industry has become valued at over $100 billion, it also has become a prime target for cyber threats. The majority of PC games are delivered through digital platforms, such as Steam, and users ultimately store their credentials in these platforms (including bank information). Thus, digital platforms like Steam, EA Origin, Blizzard’s Battle.net, and a handful of other digital game clients are ripe for malicious attacks. Steam alone has over 125 million users. Also at risk are game-specific clients, such as Garena’s League of Legends.

With so many gamers not thinking twice about storing payment account information in platforms like Steam, it’s absolutely certain that hackers will continue to target these digital gaming clients. And because e-sport conventions attract massive crowds, all connecting to public WiFi, these events are prime targets for malicious attacks.

To combat this threat, client developers should make security a top priority. Digital platforms need to undergo rigorous pen-testing, from the best IT security consultants available. Gamers also need to make sure their clients are always up to date, and to be extremely wary of what actions they perform while connected to public WiFi networks, such as at esport conventions. Connecting to a VPN would also add a layer of security – you can choose a good VPN from this list.

This isn’t a hypothetical scenario – hackers can and have breached these game platforms, stealing large amounts of customer data. In fact, the developers of Kaspersky Antivirus raised serious concerns over the discovery of malware known as the ‘Steam Stealer’ in 2016.

The ‘Steam Stealer’ reportedly steals the account credentials of 77,000 Steam members each month and, with 1,200 types of malware in activity, Kaspersky’s researchers, Santiago Pontiroli and Bart P, claim these data breaches have “turned the threat landscape for the entertainment ecosystem into a devil’s playground”.

Later in 2017, hackers managed to get into the database of ESEA (E-Sports Entertainment Association League), threatening to release the details of over 1.5 million user accounts, to the ransom of $100,000. ESEA is one of the leading matchmaking services in online gaming, and offers professional tournaments with cash-based prizes for popular games like CounterStrike: Global Offensive, and Team Fortress 2.

ESEA advised players to secure their accounts, while working to patch the vulnerability. The hackers later also breached the ESEA game server infrastructure, changing ever player’s karma rating to a score of “-1337”.

Then in late 2018, a critical bug was uncovered in EA’s Origin client, by an independent security researcher. The bug allows a malicious entity to scrape account data. The independent researcher, online handle Beard, explained the bug:

“The bug occurs when you use the EA Origin client but request to edit your account on EA.com […] The EA Origin client will spit out an auto-login URL, in which the token is basically the equivalent of your active username and password.”

Auto-login URLs are fairly common, and are typically based on a user’s cookie files stored on their device. However, this was not the case with the EA Origin auto-login URL, which allowed using the URL without any prior authentication. An attacker could then guess a user’s security question, hijack the account entirely, and use any kind of stored payment method associated with the account.

The scariest thing about the bug was how these auto-login URLs could easily be harvested from unsecured WiFi networks. If an attacker were to hit an esport convention where a large number of users were connecting to a public WiFi, and then logging into EA Origin accounts, the damage could have been massive.

Fortunately, the independent researcher quickly notified EA of the bug, and a patch was quickly released. It is, however, just one example alongside others we’ve shown, of how tiny security flaws can put millions at risk.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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eSports

IDN Media Officially Enters Esports By Acquiring ggwp.id

George Miller

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IDN Media Officially Enters Esports By Acquiring ggwp.id
Photo Source: idn.media
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

IDN Media officially enters the eSports industry by acquiring GGWP.ID, the leading eSports media in Indonesia. Ricky Setiawan, who is the founder of GGWP.ID, will keep his role as the CEO of a 60-people team of GGWP.ID.

The eSports industry has grown rapidly in the past few years, especially in Indonesia. Understanding the potential, IDN Media believes that eSports’ massive growth is just the beginning. It is indicated by the increase number of eSports players, viewers, and enthusiasts in Indonesia. As a result, 2019 and 2020 are projected to be the years of eSports by many industry experts.

As a one-stop eSports company, GGWP.ID will have 4 main business units: 1) eSports Media, 2) eSports Tournament Platform, 3) eSports Team, and 4) eSports Creative. eSports Media is a multi-platform media for eSports enthusiasts in Indonesia. eSports Tournament Platform is a platform that allows eSports enthusiasts to create and organize tournaments by themselves instantly. eSports Team is a professional eSports team that competes in popular games. eSports Creative is a multi-platform digital agency focusing on brand storytelling, content creation, and online activation.

In addition, GGWP.ID also hosts the leading gaming event in Indonesia, Game Prime, together with BEKRAF (Badan Ekonomi Kreatif) Republik Indonesia /  IACE (Indonesian Agency for Creative Economy) and AGI (Asosiasi Game Indonesia) – an Indonesian game association.

IDN Media is aiming to make GGWP.ID become the ‘ESPN’ of eSports in Indonesia and would like to change the perception about eSports from its stereotypical perspective – that playing games brings negative impacts. In fact, eSports can improve intelligence, teamwork, focus, and strategic thinking for Millennials and Gen Z. Through GGWP.ID, IDN Media wants to build more awareness and exposure of the opportunities that eSports can bring to society, including to eSports players, enthusiasts, content creators, and brands.

Winston Utomo, Founder & CEO of IDN Media – “We are very excited to enter the eSports industry and work together with Ricky and the whole GGWP.ID team. We believe that the eSports phenomenon has just begun. With GGWP.ID, we envision to create the biggest and most impactful eSports company in the region for Millennials and Gen Z.”

Ricky Setiawan, Founder & CEO of GGWP.ID – “We are very thrilled to join IDN Media and to work together with Winston, William, and the whole IDN Media team. As the leading media company for Millennials and Gen Z in Indonesia, IDN Media can help us reach more audience and accelerate our vision to make eSports available for everyone.”

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eSports

NBA 2K League – Week 11 Recap

George Miller

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NBA 2K League - Week 11 Recap
Photo Source: 2kleague.nba.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

LARRY’S MOMENT: Receiving more than 138,000 votes on Twitter, Tim “oLARRY” Anselimo of Cavs Legion GC won the first-ever ESPY for “Best Esports Moment” for his return to the NBA 2K League after being shot multiple times at the tragic mass shooting at a gaming tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, in August 2018. oLARRY sustained three gunshot wounds in the incident and had to learn to hold the game controller differently. Click here to learn more about oLARRY’s story. 

THE FAB FIVE: During Week 11, the NBA 2K League announced five finalists for the 2019 Intel Performance NBA 2K League Most Valuable Player Award: Blazer5 Gaming’s Nidal “Mama Im Dat Man” Nasser, Celtics Crossover Gaming’s Albano “oFAB” Thomallari, Kings Guard Gaming’s Michael “Bp” Diaz, Magic Gaming’s Brendan “Reizey” Hill, and 76ers GC’s Ethan “Radiant” White. Notably, all five are point guards and two (Reizey and Bp) are rookies. Click here for complete information on the 2019 NBA 2K League Awards. 

MO MONEY, NO PROBLEMS: With two victories in Week 11, T-Wolves Gaming extended their regular-season winning streak to six games. Rookie small forward Jordan “JMoneyRep817” Martinez cashed in 57 total points in the two games, earning him the Intel Player of the Week Award for Week 11. The Texas-native netted 25 points and four assists in a 70-61 victory over Knicks Gaming while adding 32 points and seven steals in an 82-42 win over Heat Check Gaming.

THE SHOWCASE IS BACK: On Friday, August 2 at 7 p.m. ET, the league will tip off the 2019 Finals weekend with the second annual NBA 2K League Showcase – a tournament featuring professional NBA 2K League players and influencers from the worlds of sports and entertainment. Confirmed participants include former NFL player Jeremy Maclin, music artist Ponce De’Leioun, content creator FlightReacts, content creator SGK7, and content creator GirlGamerChas. The event will take place at the NBA 2K League Studio Powered by Intel in Long Island City, New York and will be livestreamed on Twitch and YouTube.

WEEK 11 RECAP

Wednesday, July 10: 

  • Knicks Gaming 61 @ T-Wolves Gaming 70 
  • Pistons GT 62 @ Raptors Uprising GC 72 
  • T-Wolves Gaming 80 @ Heat Check Gaming 42 
  • Lakers Gaming 68 @ Pistons GT 43 
  • Raptors Uprising GC 55 @ Heat Check Gaming 63 

Thursday, July 11: 

  • Wizards District Gaming 60 @ 76ers GC 76 
  • Knicks Gaming 79 @ Hawks Talon GC 67 
  • Celtics Crossover Gaming 65 @ Lakers Gaming 60 

Friday, July 12: 

  • NetsGC 53 @ Wizards District Gaming 72 
  • 76ers GC 71 @ Pacers Gaming 55 
  • Grizz Gaming 80 @ NetsGC 51 
  • Pacers Gaming 67 @ Hawks Talon GC 75 
  • Celtics Crossover Gaming 53 @ Magic Gaming 48 
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eSports

U.S. to Host The Esports Awards 2019

Niji Narayan

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U.S. to Host The Esports Awards 2019
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

The Esports Awards 2019 is going to be held at the Esports Stadium Arlington on November 16. It is a win for Arlington, but a loss for London, which has been the home of Esports Awards for the past three years.

The majority of viewers and participants are located within the U.S., while the UK esports scene is still in its infancy. The esports stadium should be better equipped for such an event too, providing production crews access to already installed equipment, specialised for such events and live broadcasts. The Esports Stadium Arlington was opened in 2018.

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