Microsoft has warned gamers to beware of unsolicited emails after countless Xbox Live customers reportedly fell victim to a new phishing scam designed to elicit log-in and bank account details.
Reports suggested that cyber criminals had stolen potentially millions of pounds after tricking thousands of account holders across the globe into giving away sensitive information.
The phishing email in question is thought to have directed the victims to a fake Microsoft web site that promises to offer free points to buy games with, but which requires the user to enter details such as account information and card details.
Reports also suggest that the hackers have stolen small amounts from their victims in order to stay under the radar.
"The security of Xbox Live members is of the utmost importance, which is why we consistently take measures to protect Xbox Live against ever-changing threats," noted a brief Microsoft statement.
"In this case, a number of Xbox Live members appear to have recently been victim of malicious ‘phishing' scams."
Microsoft added that it was "working closely" with those who had been affected in order to "investigate and/or resolve any unauthorised changes to their accounts" which may have been made as a result of the phishing attacks.
It also warned users not to open unsolicited emails and to "never supply email addresses, passwords or credit card information to strangers".
Jason Hart, managing director of authentication security firm Cryptocard, argued that too many gaming companies still use static passwords, leading to problems of the sort seen today.
"If, as a company, you are holding confidential data about your users – and they have entrusted that to you – there is a responsibility to put in place robust security measures," he added.
"You can't stop thieves sneaking up to the back door, but you can put in place measures to stop them breaking in."
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