Account Takeover / Bot Detection

Arkose Labs Outperforms reCAPTCHA for Gaming Industry Giant

June 7, 20224 min Read


Arkose Labs helps a leading video game company thwart account takeover attacks by 99% and shares real-time insights to inform fraud defense strategy for long-term fraud prevention

Video gaming has emerged as one of the top grossing industries in recent times, clocking billions of dollars in revenues. In 2021, the industry was estimated to be worth $178.73 billion, a 14% increase over 2020. The figures are expected to rise to $268 billion by 2025. The rising popularity and increasing revenues make the industry an attractive target for bad actors.

By playing the games, consumers can accumulate virtual currency, avatars, and a host of other digital goodies. They can use virtual and real-world currencies for microtransactions – in-game purchases – to buy rare items, skins, and tools to help them clear the levels of the games. Attackers target these ‘wealthy’ accounts using automated account takeover attacks to steal the assets or sell the accounts at a premium to other players.

Attackers also create multiple fake new accounts to manipulate the gaming environment and skew the game results in their favor. Our research shows that in the first quarter of 2022 fake account registrations rose 86% as compared to Q4 2021.

With fake and compromised accounts, attackers engage in disseminating spam to genuine gamers and launch phishing campaigns. They extensively use bots not only to scale up the attacks but also to evade detection by the fraud defense mechanisms that gaming companies deploy.

Existing reCAPTCHA solution could not protect a leading gaming company

A case in point is a global video game developer and publisher that was under a never-ending barrage of account takeover attempts targeting its consumers’ digital accounts. These attacks elevated the risk to consumers’ account security and vitiated the gaming environment. To make matters worse, the fraud defense solution – reCAPTCHA – that the company was using could not provide the level of security that the company needed in the wake of intelligent bots. This failure stems from the fact that while bots have evolved in leaps and bounds, reCAPTCHA hasn’t been able to keep pace.

This subpar solution not only failed to thwart the incessant attacks, putting consumers at risk, but also led to diminished good user throughput and degraded consumer experience. It failed to provide the company’s fraud defense team with any insights into the attack patterns and trends, severely impacting their ability to deploy appropriate countermeasures.

Arkose Labs steps in to stop 99% account takeover attacks

Being fed up with the limitations of reCAPTCHA, the company deployed the Arkose labs solution on the log-in flow for both web and desktop applications. Instead of blocking any user, our solution triaged incoming traffic according to the real-time risk assessment of each one of them. The solution accurately identified bad actors from genuine consumers and used targeted friction to challenge the malicious traffic. Bots and scripts failed instantly thanks to our proprietary 3D challenges being trained against most advanced machine vision technology. For persistent human attackers, the challenge-response mechanism incrementally increased the volume and complexity of the challenges, which meant attackers would need more time, effort, and resources to clear the challenges at scale. In the wake of diminishing RoI, attackers had no option but to abandon the attacks.

The company reported a 99% reduction in compromised accounts and a 60% reduction in fraud after using our solution. Using targeted friction, the company was able to stop fraud while maintaining the great user experience it was known for. The reduction in overall attack volume alleviated the maintenance burden on the company’s fraud and security team. Our solution also provided the company with real-time data insights that helped inform a holistic risk operations strategy that could adapt to evolving attacks and ensure long-term fraud prevention.

To learn how Arkose Labs can protect your gaming platform while keeping user experience at the fore-front, book a demo now.