Online identity firm Garlik has revealed that criminals are targeting gamers with increasing regularity in an attempt to harvest personal and financial information which could be worth as much as £4.5m a year.
The research assessed illegal trading of credentials on platforms such as Microsoft Xbox, Sony Playstation and World of Warcraft.
Garlik estimated that around 500,000 XBox Live credentials are being traded on a yearly basis, with a selling price of around £100 for 20 accounts.
It also warned that digital content delivery platform Steam is one of the most highly targeted, with hackers uploading infected add-ons for various titles which contain maliciousTrojan code
"Online games-related account theft is definitely a problem, and while some companies have tried to combat such activity it's an issue that isn't taken seriously enough by most gamers," said Phil Elliott, managing editor of videogames business site GamesIndustry.biz.
"There's a clear risk that compromised personal data could be used for further serious activity."
To minimise their risk exposure, Garlik has warned users not to use the same password for online gaming as banking and other accounts.
The news also comes just a few days after security vendor Webroot reported an "astonishing volume" of phishing Trojans, designed to steal licences, usernames and passwords from gaming accounts.
"These single-purpose Trojans are very good at what they do, and can rapidly (and silently) report the desired information back to servers -- typically, perhaps unsurprisingly, located in China," wrote Webroot's Andrew Brandt on the firm's threat blog.
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