Mobile Connect Offers Solution to the Risks of Online Gaming

December 4, 2018

Blog

Video gaming is perhaps not the first area which springs to mind when it comes to cybersecurity and digital identity, but an increasingly fraught picture has started to emerge over the last several years – one with which the mobile industry is well placed to assist.

It emerged last month that, in fact, among the ten largest data breaches of the century so far was one affecting gamers, when the private data of over 77 million Sony PlayStation users was hacked. The breach was devastating for platform and customers alike: hackers gained access to names, passwords, emails, home addresses, purchase histories, credit card numbers, and the site had to be closed for a month so Sony could assess the damage. This caused the company to lose more than $171 million in revenue.

A smaller – but still enormous – breach came to light last year, in which hackers stole the login details of 2.5 million Xbox and PlayStation users. This had more serious implications than the access to gaming profiles alone. “The prevalence of password reuse means that a relatively benign site can hold credentials that unlock far more valuable resources, for example, email or social media accounts,” warned security expert Troy Hut at the time.

This is a widely recognised phenomenon – in fact, online gamers are a particular target for cybercrime because they are notoriously likely to observe poor password security through reuse across multiple accounts, and a recent survey found that 53% take no additional security precautions when using public-access WiFi.

It is not however only malicious breaches which are of concern in gaming – as online gaming continues to expand among young children, there has been a growing incidence of unauthorised payments by minors. In one case earlier this year, a father in the UK discovered that, having left his bank card details saved on his son’s Xbox, nearly £700 was lost to online shooter game Fortnite. The boy was able to make 81 separate purchases while gaming before the account holder became aware; a spokesman for his father’s bank expressed sympathy, but refused to refund the charges, pointing out that no contravention of his terms of service had actually taken place.

The stark reality was that the parent had not taken sufficient steps to ensure that only he could make those payments within his household, and it cost him the price of a short holiday.

So how can operators help? When the most recent mass theft of PlayStation and Xbox data took place, Robert Capps from NuData Security warned that “this data is likely to be sold on the Dark Web and used for future cybercrime – it’s a good reminder to choose unique passwords on all sites that require registration.” Sadly the first part of Mr Capp’s warning is doubtless correct; however we at the GSMA are less sure about the second part.

Our own research indicates that users are increasingly weary of remembering multiple passwords as it is – with 87% saying they would prefer to remember just one single strong login, and a similar figure admitting they have left a website when asked to create a new username and password. The evidence suggests that moving to increase the number of details users must remember does quite against the grain of consumer demand.

What is needed is not additional burdens to account holders, but increased convenience.  As the digital economy as a whole tends away from the old model of usernames and passwords, the gaming industry should move with it and make greater use of more secure methods. By pairing users with a device they typically carry about their person at all times as a matter of course – their phone – the mobile industry’s joint endeavour to protect its customers’ digital identity online, Mobile Connect, achieves precisely that.

As mobile banking, online retail and digital payments for travel and leisure make greater use of the solution, now rolling out at a rate of one new operator per month, it is increasingly clear that the gaming sector should abandon its adherence to the password model – and give its users a safer and more seamless method of experiencing online gaming. The mobile industry stands ready to build those partnerships over the new year, and looks forward to doing so.

Back

Presentations from M360 Series – Russia & CIS The 2018 GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Russia & CIS was a regionally-focused event drawing on global case studies for senior-level leaders from government & regulatory bodi...

Read more | See all Identity Resources

Presentations: Delivering Commercial Success Through Identity Services The GSMA Identity recently partnered with Turkcell to co-host an event in Istanbul which explored Turkey’s journey towards becoming the first Mobile Connect commercially su...

Read more | See all Identity Resources

Mobile Connect Workshop Presentations at MWCA Identity Seminar The seminar Mobile Connect Seminar: Reducing Fraud through Secure Authentication and ID Verification Services, brought together h wider mobile ecosystem aiming to prevent fraud b...

Read more | See all Identity Resources

Mobile Connect Workshop Presentation at Mobile 360 Digital Societies i The Mobile Connect workshop: Delivering commercial success through identity services attendees had the opportunity to learn the value and commercial scalability of mobile-based ...

Read more | See all Identity Resources

Distributed Ledger Technology, Blockchains and Identity: A Regulatory This paper provides an overview of the relevant regulations for the use of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and blockchains for digital identity. Digital identity is the bas...

Read more | See all Identity Resources

Digital Identity: Global Trends and Highlights from the United States Mobile internet traffic now accounts for more than half of all global online traffic, reaching 51.2% of the world’s total this year. There are now 8.8 billion mobile connection...

Read more | See all Identity Resources

Mobile Connect Offers Solution to the Risks of Online Gaming Video gaming is perhaps not the first area which springs to mind when it comes to cybersecurity and digital identity, but an increasingly fraught picture has started to emerge ov...

Read more | Visit Identity Blog

News Flash: New Mobile ID for Swiss Rail Workers Track repair workers verify their identity and skills using handsets and blockchain In Switzerland, rail track repair workers are now verifying their identity and skills using ce...

Read more | Visit Identity Blog

News Flash: New Partnership Supports Digital ID in Africa The Economic Commission for Africa and the Omidyar Network seek to build official expertise The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Omidyar Network, an in...

Read more | Visit Identity Blog

News Flash: UK Explores Digital ID for Teenagers System would verify age to prevent access to online pornography The UK government is considering introducing a “digital passport” system to help stop teenagers from being exp...

Read more | Visit Identity Blog

News Flash: Internet Accounts Sell For a Few Dollars Cybersecurity firm outlines widespread availability of compromised usernames and passwords Stolen account details for online entertainment services, such as Netflix and Spotify, ...

Read more | Visit Identity Blog

eIDAS: a Tool for Liberation which Opens up the future of Global Trade Andrea Servida Head of eGovernment and Trust, European Commission When I think of mobile communications – in particular, of the smartphone – I see a token of freedom.  Havin...

Read more | Visit Identity Blog

Identity at MWC19 Barcelona February 25, 2019 Discover the latest innovations, market developments and business strategies in digital identity at MWC19 Barcelona. More details to follow. Register for MWC19 Barcelona...

Read more | See all Identity Events

MWC19 Seminar – Mobile Connect: The rise of Digital Identity February 25, 2019 This seminar will focus on the consolidation and growth of Mobile Connect as a successful identity service offered by the mobile operators around the globe. The seminar will c...

Read more | See all Identity Events

MWC19 Seminar – The Future of Digital Identity: From Revolutiona February 26, 2019 It’s been a tempestuous year in digital identity with major breaches hitting the press on an almost weekly basis. This seminar will look at some of the latest research in use...

Read more | See all Identity Events

Contact GSMA Legal Email Preference Centre Copyright © 2018 GSMA. GSM and the GSM Logo are registered and owned by the GSMA.