Always-on games blamed for spike in viruses

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ESET finds that online games encourage gamers to shutdown firewalls.

Always-online games such as the latest StarCraft 2 update and lambasted SimCity could be a leading cause in the increase in gamer viruses.

Lending further cause for concern around the increasing reliance on always-connected solutions to piracy, a survey conducted at ESET's UK Master's StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm tournament found that online games encourage users to shut down firewalls.

Given that anti-virus suites can cause lags in performance and mid-game pop-ups leading to distractions, 31 per cent of surveyed gamers admitted to disabling security on their PCs in order to play the latest titles.

“It’s evident that gamers are not protecting themselves sufficiently and are unaware of the risk of playing online without protection - and as more and more titles require a constant Internet connection, that’s a real worry,” said Quinton Watts, VP of Marketing and Sales, ESET.

“We’re in an age where cyber attacks can be detrimental to a person’s identity security and gamers, savvy as they may be, put themselves at risk far more than they need to.”

Those interviewed at the gaming event were found to have spent an average of two days fixing their computers after virus attacks, while one-in-20 lose a week.

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