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The gaming industry has been enjoying its glory days for the past couple of years. Valued at $198.4 billion in 2021, the gaming market is expected to almost double by 2027, reaching about $340 billion. The competitive gaming — esports — is on the rise as well, with estimations anticipating 577.2 million viewers of esports worldwide by 2024. With these entertainment industries well into their prime and drawing huge audiences, questions have been raised about potential cybersecurity risks and how to stay secure in this digital reality. The new hacker:HUNTER series looks to provide some of the answers.

The documentary tells six different stories of gamers, esports players, and ethical hackers from the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain and India. Being of different backgrounds and different ages, the individuals have all had to deal with cybersecurity issues associated with gaming in some way or another. The first episode, ‘Gold Rush,’ will premiere on Euronews TV and Euronews Next on July 9, 2022:

  • The ‘Gold Rush’ episode reveals how a group of kids from across the United States made millions of dollars by exploiting a flaw in EA Sports’ FIFA game. The glitch enabled them to generate nearly unlimited in-game currency, which was followed by a trial to figure out if the sale of something that officially has no value, is actually a crime.
    Euronews release – July 9
  • ‘A Dream Career’ is devoted to the downside of the seemingly lucrative career of an esports professional from one of Europe's most successful esports outfits — including bullying, harassment and online stalking.
    Euronews release – July 23
  • ‘Forsaken’ is focused on the shadow sector of the gaming industry — the multimillion dollar cheating industry — and tells the story of an esports player who dashed his teammate’s hopes of victory at one of Asia’s biggest esports tournaments.
    Euronews release – August 6
  • ‘Hacking Children’ looks at how hacks can enter into our lives from a very young age, and shares the poignant stories of children who had their gaming accounts hijacked.
    Euronews release – August 20
  • ‘This is Manfed’ centers on an ethical hacker who spent 20 years hacking video games and exploring their virtual economies to find out how a digital citizen can resist totalitarianism.
    Euronews release – September 3
  • ‘Speedrunning for Good’ episode acquaints the audience with the speedrunning community that searches for flaws in games which allow them to play faster or perform better, and also raises money for charity during gaming marathons.
    Euronews release – September 17

Extended versions of ‘Gold Rush’ and ‘Forsaken,’ that delve into these themes in more depth, as well as the rest of the episodes, will be published by Tomorrow Unlocked - Kaspersky’s YouTube Channel about technology culture.

Three directors — Hugo Berkeley, Didi Mae Hand, and Lara Maysa Ingram — have joined together hands to create this new ‘Next Level’ series. Berkeley, who is also the hacker:HUNTER show creator, and Hand, have previously worked together on the hacker:HUNTER documentaries about the WannaCry ransomware attack, Carbanak group and attacks on the healthcare sector during the pandemic.

“Playing games is in our DNA – but it isn’t always innocent child’s play when you’re online. We’ve met small kids who told us they were burnt out from playing, and came across young people who thought they had done something clever until the FBI kicked down their doors. We were there when an esports professional crumbled under the pressure he felt. And with every person we spoke to, we understood that the gaming industry, social platforms, security companies and governments have a huge task ahead of them: returning innocence to online gaming,” comments Rainer Bock, hacker:HUNTER’s Executive Producer.

Watch all hacker:HUNTER episodes here.


About Kaspersky

Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 240,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.


About Tomorrow Unlocked

Tomorrow Unlocked is a YouTube channel about technology culture, and a film production house, created by Kaspersky. It focuses on stories showing how technology helps us create a better future, providing a lineup of original documentaries and series, and also hosting dedicated film festivals. Learn more at the link

hacker:HUNTER ‘Next Level’: how playing has become more than just a game for сybercriminals

A new six-part documentary series, co-produced with Kaspersky and devoted to online gaming, esports and the pertinent security issues around them, will premiere on Euronews, Europe’s leading international news channel, on July 9.
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