Hackers Cheat a Stock Market Game

Gaming websites, like banks and retailers, are forced to deal with online fraud and other abuses, which cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Many gaming sites have increased efforts to detect suspicious players, but savvy criminals have learned to mask their true identities, changing account information to circumvent conventional methods of fraud detection.

When players conspire to hack one game, they compromise the integrity of the entire website. Other players eventually realize that the deck is rigged against them and that the website’s fundamental security has been compromised. The website becomes useless to honest players, who take their business elsewhere.

Earlier this month, six buses transported online entrepreneurs to Austin for the South by Southwest conference, as part of the Startup Bus project.

As reported by CNET, “The coders and would-be Mark Zuckerbergs [took] part in a high-paced competition” in which they formed teams and competed to come up with “the best, and most viable, tech start-up” during the 48-hour drive to Texas. As it turns out, some “buspreneurs” collaborated (or conspired, depending on your perspective) to create automatic scripts that would effectively stuff the ballot box on behalf of three of the teams.

Elias Bizannes, who founded the Startup Bus project, explained, “The good news is that this exploit is no longer a problem and the fake accounts will be penalized. We’ve identified 1,300 fake accounts, with 900 from the same IP address, so not exactly done smartly by them. It’s a problem not with technology, but identity – which to be honest, is just a problem across the Internet.”

It is increasingly necessary for online gaming sites to deploy more effective security solutions, including analysis of information beyond that which is voluntarily provided by users. By leveraging a device reputation check from services like Oregon-based iovation, gaming websites can reject problem players within a fraction of a second, and avoid further problems from users whose devices are already known to be associated with fraudulent behavior.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation, discusses another data breach on Good Morning America. (Disclosures)