Researchers from Symantec have discovered a staggeringly large cache of stolen online gaming credentials -- some 44 million of them -- in a heist where the operators are using a specially crafted Trojan to automatically validate the booty.
Symantec says the server contains login credentials from games as well as sites that host online games. "In both cases the accounts contained in the database have been obtained from other sources, most likely using malware with information-stealing capabilities, such as Infostealer.Gampass," according to a blog post by the researchers.
The researchers say the owner of the stolen goods wrote the so-called "Trojan.Loginck" to automate the process of monetizing the credentials. The botnet-driven Trojan.Loginck automatically logs into the stolen goods database and deposits stolen user names and passwords while checking their validity.
"If the Trojan succeeds in its task of logging in, it will update the database with the time it logged in and any user credentials (such as current game level, etc.) before moving to the next user name and password. The attackers can then log on to the database and search for the valid user name and password combinations," the researchers blogged.
Symantec says the bad guys' database holds around 17 gigabytes of flat-file data and contains credentials from at least 18 gaming websites, mainly Chinese gaming sites.
Gaming credentials can be worth anywhere from $6 to $28,000 on the black market, according to Symantec, depending on the game.
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Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio