Are Mobile Games Secured ?

Why hackers love to hack mobile games ?

1. Mobile gaming is a trending business.

Players spend lots of money on in-app purchases, and in-app advertisements which are sponsored by different brands. In reality, according to the App Annie’s 2020 State of Mobile report, mobile gaming is expected to achieve a cross-store total of $100 billion in sales this year. In the meantime, Business of Apps reports that in 2018, consumers spent average of $79 on in-app purchases, with 44 of those dollars going towards game purchases.

2. Play to win

The requirement to win the game motivates gamers, and games are built to keep players interested, tested, and inspired to continue attempting to hit the next level, unlock the next advantage, and eventually win.

3. Expectations are higher

Consumers now expect instantaneous, on-demand experiences. Apps will go viral instantly, and games from all around the world can be played by gamers, 24/7, all year long.

Things that mobile game developers should do

1. Reverse engineering malware

Games that are far more common than others are often more prone to reverse engineering attacks and contamination by malware. Hackers will reverse-engineer the underlying graphics, game assets, coding, and data assets of the game and repackage them to be released as a replica on the market. Many of these cloned games are also tainted with ransomware and will damage the original game’s credibility indirectly.

2. Flaws in the in-app purchasing system

While most smartphone games rely on in-app purchases for their wholesome money, most of these buying mechanisms have severe security vulnerabilities that enable hackers to access free add-on products and gameplay functionality. In reality, in 2012, one flaw in Apple’s in-app buying mechanism allowed 8.4 million false transactions to be made by threatening actors. Due to of this mistake, over 115 games were affected and the resultant loss of sales went up to $840 million starting from $8.3 million

3. Privacy and unauthorized installations

There are plenty of third-party shops around the world for smartphone applications, and most of them sell apps for Android. In addition, app creators are drawn to these app stores so that they can gain higher revenues. What really happens is that the pirated or cloned copies of the software are still hosted by these untrusted app stores (especially games). Not only can these fake apps contain ransomware, but they also deprive the original game developers sales. For their titles, some mobile game developers have reported piracy rates as high as 90 percent. Now that we know about what the fundamental security threats are. we are required to investigate on protect mobile gaming applications.

4. Secure your code

Unchecked technology contributes to the device infrastructure being compromised by smartphone malwares. This creates glitches and vulnerabilities in the game and the developers sometimes ignore this point. Recently, Infosecurity Magazine released a survey claiming that more than 11.5 million mobile devices are compromised with malicious code at a given time, and the figures are expected to rise in the future. In order to identify and respond to these vulnerabilities, developers should carefully analyze their code. This will keep their gaming apps from circulating on the market against current security risks such as injection attacks and reverse engineering and definitely prevent harmful apps from being distributed. ⠀

5. Ensure the security of devices

The protection of the underlying system is equally critical for safe coding. Depending on the infrastructure of the application, developers need to find ways to verify and ensure the security of the host system. One of the key aspects that a developer can review is whether or not the software sandbox in the mobile operating system is intact. The rooted devices pose a great challenge as their security paradigm may have been disturbed due to jailbreaking.

6. Securing payment gateways

The smallest flaw in your in-app buying method will result in losing millions of dollars in your company. To locate critical points in your payment system, you can set up intrusion protection on the periphery in front of the program back-end and even use code obfuscation methods to make it impossible for hackers to obtain access to your applications. Not only can these moves protect the payment system, but they also allow you enough time to respond in the event of a leak. Because modern automated tools can decipher even obfuscated text, using clean programming techniques and focusing on sufficient application infrastructure would be a safer practice.

7. Monitoring app security in real time

The fact that a gated and guarded building is better than a locked building is a proven fact. Similarly, in order to receive warnings for possible risks, it is prudent to add a motion monitoring device around the framework infrastructure. The area of real-time security monitoring is relatively recent, but helps developers to track their application and its origin and frequency for attempted attacks.

8. Preventing memory hacking

The solution embraced by free-to-play games is to add in-app transactions of certain products that enable players to perform better or conquer certain hurdles faster. Memory hacking essentially isolates the holding point of these products and offers unrestricted in-game cash or gold access to the hacker. The activities performed by a player in most mobile games are registered on the local computer itself and batched until they are sent to the server. This avoids network latency which makes it easier for the gaming experience. This helps hackers to use memory hacking softwares to attack loads of things and attach a modification tool to access the memory of the app and in-app payments.

9. Ensure your servers

Many expert game designers say that the weakest targets for hackers are online gaming servers. Due to the amount of confidential data they carry, they are attacked frequently. That is why it is important to implement all the appropriate protections on your gaming servers, such as firewalls, QA checks, intrusion detection systems, etc. It can’t be overlooked at any stage because the protection of servers is as critical as the game application itself.

10. Adopt preventing and vulnerability testing

While it comes to the production of mobile games, you have to know how to protect the users’ data and identify gaps and bugs that might cause security accidents. One of the easiest ways of achieving this goal is penetration checking. Penetration checking highlights the weak points and helps your application to be protected from these vulnerabilities in your submission.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store