Monday, August 8, 2011

Gaming Consoles Also Vulnerable to Virus Infections

Game consoles of the olden days were standalone machines that didn’t have connections to each other or to any network. Some examples of these gaming platforms were your arcade games that only stored the high scores of various players.



But now, the gaming industry has evolved into a profitable business and more technological advancements are applied to their products. From the days of the first video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, consoles now have seriously gained hi tech features.



Take the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3, both of them allow users to surf the web so you don’t have to transfer to a pc or a laptop in between gaming sessions. Because game platforms are continuously being improved, they slowly resemble computers – thereby, getting similar security risks.



Attaching USB flash drives are possible with today’s gaming consoles, so you might think this is the most widespread way viruses are distributed – but actually no. The weakest link in your console’s defense lies in its ability to connect to the internet and other similar devices. This is the easiest way to get sensitive information from you or destroy your data.



In Xbox 360s, credit card information is stored because you need this to access Xbox LIVE, so this could be target for virus developers. Antivirus companies have seen the threat of browsing the web using your console which is not equipped with any firewalls. Even Trend Micro recognized this early, and they have actually developed an antivirus program for your gaming console. You can also find online free antivirus programs but they may not be as effective.



Hardcore gaming console fans may defend their gadget, saying that it’s unlikely for them to get virus because of the limited install space. They might be correct for now in that area, but when expanding install space and web browsing are paired together, it’s definitely a must to consider protecting your machine from virus infections.

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