Cloud gaming is a promising technology that allows users to stream high-end games from remote servers without installing any software or hardware. However, it also comes with security risks, as demonstrated by the recent data breach that affected Shadow, a French cloud gaming provider.
According to Shadow’s CEO, the company was the victim of a social engineering attack that targeted one of its employees. The attacker tricked the employee into downloading malware disguised as a game on Steam, which gave the hacker access to the employee’s computer and then to one of Shadow’s cloud providers. The hacker was able to steal personal data of more than 530,000 Shadow customers, including names, email addresses, dates of birth, billing addresses and credit card expiry dates¹². The hacker then posted the stolen data for sale on a hacking forum².
This incident raises serious questions about the security of cloud gaming platforms and their providers. How can users trust that their personal and financial information is safe when they sign up for a cloud gaming service? How can cloud gaming providers protect themselves and their customers from sophisticated social engineering attacks? How can cloud gaming platforms comply with data protection regulations such as GDPR and CCPA?
One possible solution is to implement stronger security measures for both employees and customers of cloud gaming platforms. For employees, this could include regular security training, malware detection tools, multi-factor authentication and restricted access to sensitive data. For customers, this could include encryption of personal and financial data, password management tools, multi-factor authentication and data deletion options.
Another possible solution is to increase transparency and accountability of cloud gaming platforms and their providers. This could include disclosing security breaches as soon as possible, notifying affected customers and authorities, offering compensation and remediation services, and cooperating with law enforcement agencies. This could also include auditing and certifying cloud gaming platforms and their providers by independent third-party organizations.
Cloud gaming is an exciting innovation that offers many benefits for gamers and game developers. However, it also exposes them to new threats and challenges that need to be addressed urgently. The Shadow gaming platform hack is a wake-up call for the cloud gaming industry and its stakeholders to improve their security practices and policies before it is too late.