Video game companies are being targeted by hackers who are likely going after information that will enable them to crack digital rights management protections and play games for free, as well as develop cheat patches, according to a Tuesday post by Dell SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit (CTU).

The attackers – who CTU refers to as Threat Group-3279 (TG-3279) and believes to be associated with the China Cracking Group – may also be seeking source code for development of similar video games.

“It appears that TG-3279 uses a port scanning tool named ‘s’ and [a Remote Desktop Protocol] brute force tool named ‘rdp_crk,’ which may be used to scan and exploit targets,” according to the post. 

Looking out for modifications to system files, invalidly signed executables and repeated non-existent domain (NXDomain) DNS replies will aid in detecting TG-3279 activity, the post indicates.