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Malware and Gaming evolution timeline shows parallels

Since the advent of personal computing, games and malware have developed more or less side by side. Today the world of gaming has become intertwined with malware as cyber criminals have turned game theft into something much more lucrative.

The digital world, as we know it today, can be a dangerous place, to bring these issues to light anti-malware company Webroot (opens in new tab) has teamed up with the new movie PIXELS, released on July 24, to issue an infographic on the history of malware and gaming.

The global cost of cybercrime is estimated at $445 billion, but in the 1980s viruses merely had nuisance value, they might stop you playing Donkey Kong but they wouldn’t be after your bank details.

It wasn't until the turn of the century that malware stared to get really serious, the estimated cost of cleaning up the ILOVEYOU virus was put at around $6 billion. Meanwhile in the gaming world hundreds of thousands are turning to online worlds like Everquest.

In 2015 ransomware is encrypting gamers' save files and extracting money from virtual wallets, and even console gamers are no longer safe from attack.

You can see the infographic below. Webroot is also giving US-based gamers a chance to win a trip to one of the cities featured in PIXELS, PIXELS swag, and free gamer cybersecurity for PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet devices. Visit (opens in new tab) and complete the quiz to enter.


Image Credit: Ernesto Orchoa (opens in new tab) / Shutterstock (opens in new tab)

Ian Barker worked in information technology before discovering that writing about computers was easier than fixing them. He has worked for a staff writer on a range of computer magazines including PC Extreme, was editor of PC Utilities, and has written for TechRadar, BetaNews, IT Pro Portal, and LatestGadgets.