- »Young Gamers Play with Malware, Alarm International Police
Young Gamers Play with Malware, Alarm International Police
People who oppose all forms of online gambling often cite cybercrimes and access for minors as two major concerns. “Terrorists will funnel money through that online casino site,” they say. “Kids will become addicted to gambling.”
Those concerns are valid, but it is important to know that they are taken seriously by all reputable internet poker, sports betting, and casino operators. These firms ensure that their players are of legal age. They also monitor accounts to make sure they are no signs of any criminal activity. Moreover, online gambling operators obtain proper licensing from regulators in places like Malta, Gibraltar, and the UK. Consequently, they adhere to industry standards for player safety. In other words, there are plenty of safeguards in place.
Furthermore, national governments that regulate online gambling through licensing are keenly aware of these processes and the safety mechanisms inherent in today’s internet technology.
Governments that decide to prohibit online gambling, however, force the games underground and expose their players to various dangers.
And when governments do not have the proper tech-savvy representatives to advise about such issues, stories emerge as the the one recently featured in the Daily Telegraph. The title of the exposé summed it up nicely: “Kid gamers carry out cyber attacks with government-hacking malware.”
Fortnite, Aussie Kids, and Cybercrimes
It seems that children who play online games like Fortnite take their hobbies very seriously. And when they lose to an opponent, some of them get very angry.
Instead of finding a healthy way to channel those emotions, some kids in New South Wales downloaded seriously dangerous malware. They then used it to infect the computers of Fortnite players who beat them.
The players downloading the malware ranged from 10 to 31 years old,. The younger ones used their parents’ credit cards to buy the programs. Most of them had no idea of the extent of the programs’ ability to destroy computer networks and do widespread damage. Alhough one teenage did understand and tried to use it to hack into his high school’s computers.
But it wasn’t the parents that discovered the dangers. Instead, it was an international police contingent investigating cybercrimes in Australia. The authority feared it might be indicative of a larger cyber attack. Their concern was that it might be used to target governments, militaries, and businesses in Australia and beyond.
It started with a tip from the Dutch police to the UK National Crime Authority in 2018. Examined DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks from a Netherlands base subsequently resulted in the arrest of web administrators in the UK, Canada, Serbia, and Croatia. But the malware had already been distributed. In fact, more than 150,000 people registered to use it over the course of six million attacks.
One of the most egregious cases was a 14-year-old Tamworth boy who sent DDoS attacks to 483 fellow gamers in one month.
Safe Online Casinos
DDoS attacks are powerful. Furthermore, many of the world’s largest companies and computer networks have fallen victim to those types of attacks. From the largest online poker site in the world to major hotel chains and global credit card companies, the hits have taken down some of the best. However, those entities typically have backup plans on tap. And while customer information is sometimes compromised, ofttimes it is kept safe in the end.
Online casino operators do not all protect their customers with the same level of protections. However, many of the best Australian gambling sites do. The ones listed here, from Joka Room to Play Amo, do take precautions to protect players in case of an attack.
Fortnite is a different game altogether. Parents often see the game as a harmless video game that is safe for kids in limited doses. This is a personal choice. Most online casino sites, however, do offer more protection against cybercrimes. This includes detecting when underage players try to sign up for an account.
There are dangers everywhere on the internet. But a regulated environment, one like the licensed nature of the online gambling industry, can provide better protection. They are often equipped to use modern technology to preserve the integrity of the games and keep children from gambling. As well as protect customer information from hackers.