Trend Micro builds safer mobile gaming experience for consumers in Thailand

PHUKET: Trend Micro announced in a press statement that it is introducing the first-of-its kind Dr. Safety mobile security app, together with game developers in an effort to create a world safer for mobile gaming.

First launched in Taiwan, the app is now available in the rest of Asia Pacific. It features six secure game technologies including a security certified games recommendations feature, to ensure consumers are downloading legitimate gaming apps for the best possible mobile gaming experience.

Mobile gaming developers forming part of the Safe Gaming Alliance include Thailand’s Monkey Wrench Games and Pigsss Games, as well as developers from the region such as AppXplore, CreatioSoft, FunPlus, Games Solution Centre – Singapore, Gamiana, Gumi Asia, Softstar Entertainment and Tuttifrutti Interactive.

“With the growing smartphone penetration rates and mobile subscription base, Thai consumers’ increasingly connected and collaborative lifestyles put them at greater risk of cyber attacks. As one of the top spenders of mobile gaming apps in Southeast Asia, cybercriminals are bound to materialize from this revenue-generating sector.

By working with local partners such as Monkey Wrench Games and Pigsss GAMES, we can offer a trusted and secure platform for Thai consumers, sparing them the worry of downloading fake or risky mobile game apps that are pre-loaded with malicious content,” said Terrence Tang, Senior Director of Consumer Business, Asia Pacific, Trend Micro.

“At Gumi, we believe not only in creating mobile games that players love, but also in giving them the security they need. We are happy to be a member of the Safe Gaming Alliance and to be part of a continuous effort towards a safer gaming environment for all mobile gamers,” said David Ng, Chief Executive Officer.

In Asia where mobile and social networking are intricate parts of daily lives, explosive growth of mobile gaming industry is anticipated. According to a report from Dutch-based research firm Newzoo, mobile-games revenue will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 27.3 percent until 2016. The report also cited that the Asia-Pacific region is by far the biggest market for mobile games with 48 percent of global revenue.

In addition, Trend Micro’s recent online poll surveying more than 2,000 respondents from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines confirmed that consumers in Asia have a robust appetite for mobile gaming. Yet, with the extensive usage of mobile phones for gaming, many consumers remain vulnerable to mobile threats. Key findings of the online poll include:

– Consumers in Thailand are avid gamers, ranking third in mobile gaming app download amongst surveyed countries – 81 percent of respondents in Thailand play mobile games at least once a week, with 53 percent gaming daily. In terms of mobile gaming app downloads, 40 percent of consumers download gaming apps weekly, while 27 percent download gaming apps monthly.

– Thailand is the biggest spender on mobile gaming apps amongst surveyed countries – 63 percent of surveyed Thais are willing to spend more than US$10 on a single mobile gaming app, making them the top spenders on gaming apps.

– On average, less than half of surveyed parents are involved in their children’s mobile lifestyle – Only 44 percent of respondents in Thailand are aware of what their children play on mobile devices and only 30 percent of the surveyed play mobile games with their family members and friends.

– More than half of respondents in Thailand are vulnerable to mobile threats – Only 43 percent of respondents in Thailand have security or anti-virus apps installed on their mobile phones. When asked if they have encountered or downloaded fake or risky apps, 50 percent indicated they have, 25 percent said they have not, and 25 percent said they do not know if they have downloaded fake apps.

– Most consumers in Thailand do not check if their apps are authentic – Only 16 percent of respondents in Thailand check their apps following download from the app stores.

The number of mobile malware and high-risk apps hit 2 million according to Trend Micro’s first quarter security roundup for 2014. The mobile threat landscape is quickly resembling today’s PC threat landscape wherein vulnerabilities are discovered one after another since June 2013. The Android™ “master key” vulnerability, which affected almost all devices, could make any mobile malware “legitimate.”

Shortly after, vulnerabilities in device accessories like SIM cards and fake iPhone® chargers also came to the fore. A platform bug that could also trap a device in an endless reboot loop and another that could leak user data soon followed. Most recently, the Heartbleed vulnerability posed a risk to mobile devices.

It is no secret that cybercriminals are actively repacking popular mobile gaming apps for malicious intent. These apps are not only hosted on malicious sites but even in legitimate app stores. One good example is the recent case of trojanized Flappy Bird, which was repackaged and injected with malicious code and downloaded by countless of unsuspecting users within the first 24 hours following the announcement of the official apps’ withdrawal from the app store.

“At Monkey Wrench Games, our goal is to create innovative, fun and high-quality mobile games. We want customers to be assured that it is safe to access our games on their mobile phones. This is why we are excited to be part of the Safe Gaming Alliance to help create a safer gaming environment on mobile devices,” added Panupak Methachaiyasit, Chief Executive Officer of Monkey Wrench Games, an independent game studio in Thailand.

Game On Safely on Mobile with Dr. Safety

Dr. Safety is a free mobile app with a unique game application recommendation function, giving mobile gamers the confidence to play any recommended games with a peace of mind and sparing them the worry of downloading a copycat application or having virtual items stolen.

Providing 100 per cent detection, Dr. Safety protects users against external threats and efficiently clears any malicious mobile applications off their devices. It improves user’s Facebook privacy and identify malicious apps that steal info, including fake banking apps. Dr. Safety provides 100 per cent detection according to AV-TEST and is also certified by PCSL and AV-Comparatives.

The six safeguarding features in Dr. Safety include:

– Safeguard game account – scans all of your apps and files to ensure they are not malicious

– Safeguard privacy – identifies which apps collect and steal your personal info using the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network

– Anti-Phishing – blocks malicious websites, including phishing and fake bank sites

– Anti-theft – finds your device back when you have lost it

– Anti-disturbance – blocks unwanted contact with whitelists and blacklists of phone numbers

– Secure Certified Games Recommendation – download apps with confidence and play recommended games and utilities without worries

Dr. Safety is immediately available for download in Google Play and now supports English, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese (Traditional), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese

— The Nation

Thai Life
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