Watch Dogs isn’t officially out until this Tuesday, May 27, but the highly anticipated game has already made its way into the hands of some gamers -- either through retailers breaking the street date or leaked copies on torrent sites. If you are among the latter group you might be in for a surprise.
According to numerous reports, one or more versions of the Skidrow torrent circulating across peer-to-peer networks is hiding a Bitcoin miner. The installer apparently loads two exe files onto a victim’s machine, winlogin.exe -- not to be confused with the legitimate Windows process winlogon.exe -- and ltc.exe.
Infected machines then dedicate a portion of their CPU and GPU cycles in the background to break down complex algorithms and earn some Bitcoins for whoever is behind the scheme. Unsurprisingly, there are numerous reports of dropped computer performance and crashes from pirates.
Games such as Watch Dogs are a particularly interesting target for Bitcoin thieves given the anticipation behind it, and the hefty hardware specs required to play the game on high settings -- which will come in handy for mining.
Those who downloaded the repacked torrent are advised to look out for the aforementioned processes using Task Manager. And of course, buy the real deal instead, which is coming out May 27 for PC and consoles.
We’ll have our usual CPU/GPU performance review ready for you soon.