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News

Online Computer Gaming Site Danger

Avast Software : 17 January, 2012  (Technical Article)
Avast details the dangers associated with online gaming sites used by children and the risk of picking up malware
Computer games are not risk free. The AVAST Virus Lab has identified over 60 individual sites during the last 30 days that contained game or arcade in their URL address.

The most visited site was cutearcade.com, a collection of online games with dressing up, coloring, and even Hello Kitty. avast! users reported an infection at this site over 12,600 times as of January 10. The malicious Trojan redirects viewers to linuxstabs.com, a known distribution point for malware.

Hiddenninjagames.com was the second most popular site. The collection of flash games contains an exploit kit sending visitors to astrofiber.co.be.

“Games like these require clicking and children don’t think much about what they are clicking on,” said Ondrej Vlcek, CTO of AVAST Software. “This makes them – or their parents’ computer – quite susceptible to malware.”

Children’s online behaviour – impulsively moving between individual games and websites – increases the odds of picking up malware. “If there is something dangerous, a child will find it. But, moving between sites is normal behavior for most people – regardless of age,” added Mr. Vlcek.

Most of the infected sites seem legitimate, although some may have been created specifically to distribute malware. They contain a grab bag of Java script infections, redirectors, and potentially unwanted programs. For computer users, whether adult or child, there is no way to visually spot the danger.

“At a minimum, people need an antivirus program that looks for various kinds of malware and scans websites for infections. For additional security, users should consider using virtualization features to set up a ‚ ‘sandboxed’ virtual computer,” stated Mr. Vlcek. “With avast!, all users have this option and they can use it to keep themselves and their children safe online.”
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