Cybercriminals have stolen source code to gut games so they can be used for free; to create cheating mechanisms; and to develop competing content.
Dell SecureWorks specialists said in an analysis of the group's activities that the attackers research their targets in advance, using publicly available sources of information and network scans.
The group -- linked to the China underweb -- deploys an assortment of tools for copying material and maintaining a foothold in systems, some of which are bespoke.
There is no evidence the tools are automated exploits. It is believed the attackers rely on manual, "hands-on-keyboard" exploitation.
Some of the malicious programs inserted are signed with a (likely stolen) digital certificate to fake out program verification systems. Even though the certificate was revoked in August 2012, systems that do not have an updated certificate revocation list might still accept it as valid.
“After penetrating an organization's defenses, the attackers attempt to compromise computers and credentials used by network and system administrators in order to gain extensive access to the organization's network and file repositories,” Techworld reports.