False Report on Next Gen Console Viruses Causing a Frenzy, Here is the Truth

Just because we report about games, it doesn't mean there's no actual journalism involved... I expected better from you guys.

Numbers, numbers, numbers… so many numbers. There’s this new game sweeping the industry, and it’s called the numbers game. When Sony celebrates selling one million North American PS4 consoles in 24 hours, Microsoft has to fire back with the same claim (albiet international sales). When Sony celebrates selling more PS4 consoles, Microsoft has to fire back that their console sold the fastest.

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When Nintendo celebrates 215,000 copies of Super Mario 3D World sold already, Sony and Microsoft fans have to point out that’s the lowest attach ratio ever for a console Mario game… meaning less than 15% of WiiU owners bought the game (at launch at least). 

If that wasn’t enough spin for you, here comes a bunch of numbers from a company that doesn’t even make consoles.

David Emm, the senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, has some even bigger (and scarier) numbers for you via a report on ConsumerAffairs (because that’s where we all look to for accurate gaming news).

Globally, the company estimates an average of 34,000 attacks a day. Kaspersky says it currently known of about 4.6 million pieces of gaming focused malware that are directed against the game systems.

It’s measure of European attacks found gamers in Spain getting the most attention, with 138,786 attacks so far this year. Poland was in second with 127,509, followed by Italy on 75,080.

So of course the headlines across many other gaming sites today has been “PS4 and Xbox One Attacked By Hackers 34,000 Times a Day, 4.6 Million Malwares Run Rampant on Consoles.”

Many of these reports were from people who really didn’t read what Emm was saying… I guess not everyone knows how to translate to English from bullshit. 

Here is what Kaspersky Lab really said in their real press release:

Just days after the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, Kaspersky Lab experts have discovered that PC gamers across Europe were hit by a massive number of attacks in 2013. Currently Kaspersky Lab knows 4.6 million pieces of gaming focused malware, with the total number of attacks facing gamers hitting 11.7 million globally. On average, users were hit by 34,000 attacks related to gaming malware daily. With Christmas coming up and hundreds of thousands expected to receive games as presents, Kaspersky Lab experts are recommending users take the right precautions.

The numbers quoted from Kaspersky Lab were on the PC, not consoles. Those underground forums with “cyber crooks” selling “gaming” usernames and passwords… were taken from Steam accounts, not consoles. 

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Ryan Kerns
Lifelong gamer, artist, writer, lurker, occasional troll, and 1994 Blockbuster Game Tournament Store Champion.