How to Avoid the Abundance of Malware in Minecraft

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Minecraft is addicting. Minecraft is popular. This combination means that there is a a lot of of us play the game for hours every day. While that’s good for them Minecraft Community in general, it’s also good for hackers. You don’t see millions of Minecraft Player: You see millions of targets for malware.

As reported by BleepingComputerKaspersky security researchers found out Minecraft accounts for a whopping 25% of malware distributed via PC video games. That’s more than double the next leading game, FIFA, as it accounts for only 11% of gaming malware traffic. Other “winners” are e.g Roblox at 9.5%, Distant scream at 9.4% and call of Duty at 9%, but there are many other games that treat attackers as malware pipelines.

While the vast majority of this malware is distributed by PC games, malware distributed via mobile games Minecraft still at the top with a 40% share. whoops

Most of them malicious Minecraft Cases lead to downloaders on your computer. Downloaders often sneak past security software and then install malicious malware like Infostealer or Cryptocurrency Miner on your computer. However, adware (which delivers malicious advertisements to users) and trojans (malware pretending to be legitimate software) are also in the mix, which can steal your personal information or give attackers access to your computer.

How to avoid malware from Minecraft and other games

It is not risky to just play these games. As long as you bought the game from a reliable market and play it as intended, you don’t have to worry about malware any more than you would playing it on a Nintendo Switch or PlayStation. The risk, however, is delving into the more underground components of a game, namely mods, cheats, and piracy.

The first tip here is: don’t make pirate games. Ethics aside, bad actors take advantage of players’ desires to play against them for free by offering fake versions of popular games. You are putting yourself at risk if you download a “free” version of a game that Everyone plays because there is such a great incentive for a bad actor to put malware in his place.

Pirated software also allows bad actors to create fake in-app stores. With so many games using in-app purchases these days, many players don’t think about buying items and upgrades through these markets. However, these fake in-app stores do not offer any real products in return. Instead, they steal your information and use it to make purchases on your behalf. In short, don’t make pirate games.

Be extremely careful when installing mods. Mods are a great way to improve your game on PC and there are some fantastic developers doing a great job. However, since mods and other game cheats are not endorsed by the game developers, there is no regulation or oversight over them. This environment makes it all too easy for criminals to advertise their product as a legitimate mod just to install malware on your computer.

The sites hosting these mods can also be malicious. Even if the link is valid, the website can be full of ads or wrong download links. You think You click the correct download button, but actually this option downloads something malicious or takes you to a new, malicious URL.

When installing mods, try to use those with high download rates and good ratings. It can be risky to download this brand new mod from an unknown developer if there is no one to confirm its legitimacy. If a modder asks you to disable your antivirus software in order to run their program, don’t do it. While some modders encounter problems with antivirus software, this scheme allows malicious users to bypass your security systems. Do not do it.

Don’t forget to keep both your computer and games up to date with the latest software patches. These updates can help protect against security vulnerabilities.

How to tell if your PC already contains malware

Sure, these tips are helpful in avoiding gaming malware in the future, but what about malware you may have discovered in the past? Could your PC be harboring volatile software right now?

Be aware of any strange symptoms your computer is having. Is anything making your computer hot, even when there are no visible programs running? Maybe your computer is running slow out of the blue. Do strange links open in your web browser or mysterious pop-ups flood your desktop?

If this is the case, your best bet is to run a program that scans for known malware, e.g Malwarebytes. This app scans for malware on your PC, identifies it and helps you remove it for good. It’s a good idea to regularly check for viruses and malware, especially on a PC to make sure nothing nefarious sneaks through the gate.

If you want to see if your computer’s problem is caused by third-party software (and therefore might be a malware issue), you can boot into Safe Mode, which will only run Microsoft programs. As you can see, there are different ways to boot into Safe Mode in both Windows 10 and Windows 11 this Microsoft support page.

You can also scan your computer yourself to check for weird files you didn’t mean to download. However, this strategy can be tricky as system files can often look intimidating or strange. If you see something obviously scary, like minecrafttrojan.exe, delete it yourself.

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