Is Your Video Game Client Software Letting The Bad Guys Into Your Home?

There are several aspects of technology that have become ubiquitous in our lives recently. One of those aspects is the rise of the use of video games in our household. For years people have had both console and PC based games in their homes but the numbers have risen dramatically in the past couple of years. Based on the popularity of video game systems like the Wii, we are starting to see more and more age groups enjoy these gaming systems as well.


The reason why they have become popular comes from several points. First of all there are a wider variety of games being made. No longer are the consoles just catering to the hardcore crowd alone. Starting with the Wii they have started making games that the whole family would enjoy. Also, the games look better than ever before. You can play a game now and it feels just like you are in a movie. It is very realistic, just enough that it magically pulls you into the game. And another factor on why they are becoming more popular is the fact that you are able to go online and interact with a community of people. You no longer have to play the games alone. You can interact with your real life friends or with people that are half way around the world.

But there is a cost for these new features to the systems. The cost comes both on the computer and on the consoles. The machines have become a lot more powerful and also are now connected to the World Wide Web. That means that even if you are on a console you are on a device that works similar to a computer. That means that you have to take some precautions when you use the machine. While the vulnerabilities are different when you are talking about a PC and a console they are still vulnerabilities and that is what I am going to be talking about in this article.

The vulnerable parts of the system

When we are talking about the vulnerabilities of both the consoles and the PC systems we are not talking about the same thing. Even though consoles are becoming more and more computer like we have not seen a great deal of exploits against them like we have seen with PC gaming. With the consoles, what we see more often now is social engineering. And that is because it is able to hook up to the internet.

People think that they become friends when they talk to someone online for a long period of time. The bad guys want you to think that. This way they are able to get them to do things that they normally wouldn’t. It is especially bad for kids who use the online features. The kid can give out the wrong information to the people on the other side and that can lead them to be vulnerable. So if you or your child is online and you both are able to talk to people then you need to be sure that you both are careful. You have to watch them as they play. If your child is in their teens then you can just casually monitor their gaming to make sure that there is nothing going on.

When we are talking about vulnerabilities when it comes to PC gaming, we are talking about a problem that is much more extensive than on a console. While a console may be a little safer, it is only because it is a different architecture than a PC which makes it harder for the average hacker to develop exploits. It is not safer because it is built better. With a PC based gaming system the hackers out there have years of experience building exploits for them. That is because they know how to exploit the operating system already. Or they know how to exploit programs that run on the operating system. So all they have to do is to make the vulnerabilities that they do know run on your game that you have installed.

But some hackers get even more clever than just using the same exploits that you see all of the time on the rest of the system. They will use tricks like replacing your client software with their version. There have been plenty of times when a black hat hacker would create their own version of the software and distribute it to the public. Everything is the same with just one little change. That change is a hole that opens up your computer. It is attacks like this that are the most dangerous.

When you are talking about gaming, you must be on your toes just like any other online activity that you do. Both on the PC and on the consoles.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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