Gamers were attacked 11.7 million times worldwide with malware in 2013, according to a report from Kaspersky Lab, a Russian internet security company.
As of the report's publication, Kaspersky identified "4.6 million pieces of gaming focused malware."
The attacks come in various forms. One targeted Minecraft players earlier this year, promising powers but stealing usernames and passwords through a download instead. In wake of Grant Theft Auto 5's release, some sites offered fake free downloads loaded with malware.
"We've just seen two of the biggest console launches ever, with the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One," said senior security researcher David Emm. "That means there will be more gamers for criminals to target, especially as the Sony and Microsoft machines increasingly use the Internet for a fuller gaming experience. And don't forget the PC, still the most popular gaming platform and cyber crooks' favorite target."
Kaspersky councils gamers to take several precautions that include avoiding offers that look too good to be true, using strong and varied passwords, installing antivirus software, being careful who you befriend online and downloading only from legitimate sellers.
Earlier this year, Kaspersky Lab announced that it had uncovered a years-long cyber attack in which online games and companies were targeted.
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