Free games including GTA V have infected 222,000 PCs with cryptojacking malware

arrowflash

Posts: 459   +495
Over 20 yrs in networking / IT and communications, I therefore believe I have a very good idea what I'm talking about, thank you very much.

If you prefer - I can spoon feed you a fuller explanation, if you like;

I downloaded the game, ran it through multiple Spyware and A/V programs.

I installed said game, and used it for years, always keeping the originally downloaded ISO for new machines / installs.

Some years later, my A/V picks up on a Trojan. Surprised I unpacked the original ISO stored on another machine, ran it though same A/V, and sure enough, a Trojan had existed all that time.

So even if you check - not all A/V's are aware of all viruses.

As for 'knowing how to do it proper', yes I used to use Newsgroups, and those hard-to-get CDs with all manner of s/w on them. But even there - those CDs were too found to contain viruses, that we were not yet aware of.

Key gens, bad ISOs, and so on, go ahead and keep exposing yourself.

It sounds like you could well be the 'noob' here.

How can you be sure it really was a trojan and not a false positive? Did it notice and stop any suspicious services running on your PC? Cracked games trigger lots of false positives. Can't really trust a single or even 2 AVs, thankfully nowadays there's Virustotal.
 
Have a second PC dedicated solely to using questionable games or software. Also have a recent backup image so you can wipe/format and restore backup image. Never install on your primary pc there is no way to protect yourself from zero day exploits. Maybe you checked the iso checksum and its good. You still need the crack or keygen. Then what are you going to reverse engineer to check for exploits? Obviously if you could do that then you could write your own crack or keygen. Just donā€™t install questionable crap on your main pc
 

Knot Schure

Posts: 369   +175
How can you be sure it really was a trojan and not a false positive? Did it notice and stop any suspicious services running on your PC? Cracked games trigger lots of false positives. Can't really trust a single or even 2 AVs, thankfully nowadays there's Virustotal.
As for false positives, I note the A/V's did not pick up on any of our in-house s/w, nor any legit s/w we use...

Regardless - I think enough has now been stated concerning the 'why nots' here.

Go ahead, keep splitting hairs, keep exposing yourselves.

Out.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 459   +495
As for false positives, I note the A/V's did not pick up on any of our in-house s/w, nor any legit s/w we use...

Regardless - I think enough has now been stated concerning the 'why nots' here.

Go ahead, keep splitting hairs, keep exposing yourselves.

Out.

Exposing on what? About using cracked software? I'm sure most tech enthusiasts have done it at least on a few occasions.

You seem upset and I'm not sure why. Whatever, there's nothing you can do about it.
 

cuerdc

Posts: 231   +70
If you get multiple popups regarding cookies be vigilant any mention of legitimate interest be worried
 

Trapped Nowhere

Posts: 75   +71
Reminds me of years back when people didn't disable daemon tools info reporting, and it would show all the popular "mounted" games that were clearly being pirated. PES was one of the top at the time. GTA IV was up there at times toošŸ˜‚
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 293   +142
Now this ain't true.

Installing software / games from unknown sources, especially AAA games and the like, is a playground for hackers etc.

I had C&C3 for years, not knowing it was infected until my Antivirus one day updated and exposed it.

And I thought I had run every check reasonably known to man on it, before I installed it.

Get Steam, pay your one-off fee, support developers, and simply try to be a more honest person.


Sorry friend but your pirating skills were likley on the levels of these suckers if that's true.

20+ years of pirating and about 15 or so since I got smart about how and where I got my stuff.

A couple things in the very early years but in the last 15? Not a single one....

Once you know and use the proper channels and tools it's quite safe because of the dedication certain groups go to filter out any trash and never allow it to appear on their portals.

If you're using a public site in anyway then yea you're doing it wrong.

I don't really pirate 95% of games these days and when I do it's usually only to try stuff im not 100% on if it's good but if it is Ill go ahead and buy it at some point.

It's more of a hobby I keep up with these days just to see what's going on in the scene vs active daily in and yet still I know my typical sources and ways of obtaining this stuff is still 99.999% safe.

I only say that because even with 15 years of no problems nothing is ever 100% safe cause we just never can prove that til it's completely over.

But it's as close as you can get while still sailing the high seas.
 
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Rdmetz

Posts: 293   +142
Over 20 yrs in networking / IT and communications, I therefore believe I have a very good idea what I'm talking about, thank you very much.

If you prefer - I can spoon feed you a fuller explanation, if you like;

I downloaded the game, ran it through multiple Spyware and A/V programs.

I installed said game, and used it for years, always keeping the originally downloaded ISO for new machines / installs.

Some years later, my A/V picks up on a Trojan. Surprised I unpacked the original ISO stored on another machine, ran it though same A/V, and sure enough, a Trojan had existed all that time.

So even if you check - not all A/V's are aware of all viruses.

As for 'knowing how to do it proper', yes I used to use Newsgroups, and those hard-to-get CDs with all manner of s/w on them. But even there - those CDs were too found to contain viruses, that we were not yet aware of.

Key gens, bad ISOs, and so on, go ahead and keep exposing yourself.

It sounds like you could well be the 'noob' here.
Again YOU messed up your source wasnt safe think whatever you want but "newsgroups" doesn't mean your using something that's safe.

No you use private groups with vetted uploaders ONLY who get their sources DIRECTLY from vetted scene groups and never use non "scene" releases.

If you had even mentioned ANY of this then MAYBE I could believe you but no you're one reference is to "newsgroups" a type of sharing that was basically the wild west.

My private groups I've been using for anywhere From 7-15 years are all low key sites with years of experience and don't allow just anybody into. With direct sources to the best scene groups and uploads that ONLY come from a few highly vetted sources directly connected to the original release group OR part of the group itself.

You likley no almost nothing about the "rules" of scene releases and grabbed some iso from some random "newsgroup" and wonder why you caught something.

20+ years in IT? That doesn't say much with how many dumba## I've worked with in the same filed over my career who had even more "experience".
 

ross01

Posts: 53   +23
sorry friend but your pirating skills were likley on the levels of these suckers if that's true.
hello do you know any way to check if you have such trojans from cracked games?

or does anyone know of any sure way to check your games are not mining?
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,573   +1,584
TechSpot Elite
hello do you know any way to check if you have such trojans from cracked games?

or does anyone know of any sure way to check your games are not mining?
I'm no expert, or even a rookie at this. But I think the sure way to find if your PC is secretly mining is to just check to see if your CPU usage is way too high.
 

Knot Schure

Posts: 369   +175
Again YOU messed up your source wasnt safe think whatever you want but "newsgroups" doesn't mean your using something that's safe.

No you use private groups with vetted uploaders ONLY who get their sources DIRECTLY from vetted scene groups and never use non "scene" releases.

If you had even mentioned ANY of this then MAYBE I could believe you but no you're one reference is to "newsgroups" a type of sharing that was basically the wild west.

My private groups I've been using for anywhere From 7-15 years are all low key sites with years of experience and don't allow just anybody into. With direct sources to the best scene groups and uploads that ONLY come from a few highly vetted sources directly connected to the original release group OR part of the group itself.

You likley no almost nothing about the "rules" of scene releases and grabbed some iso from some random "newsgroup" and wonder why you caught something.

20+ years in IT?
Quote: "That doesn't say much with how many dumba## I've worked with in the same filed over my career who had even more "experience"." - Sadly, my experience too. Spoon-feeding people on the Windows routing table, who are supposedly 'the man' for IP / Cisco stuff. Or supporting people who are tasked with testing 'eye masks' for errors, who have never encountered a Communications Signal Analyzer before. How did they prove themselves worthy of hire in the first place I often wonder.

Regardless, if YOU have found a 'safe space' for hacky games, I would bet there are not so many like you.

But again, this is not 1998 anymore, if caught using illegal s/w (and yes, that prob doesn't mean games), there are real consequences now, as stated by another poster. Especially - if you are dumb enough to share it.

My last piece of hacky s/w was the amazing Electronic Workbench / NI's Multisim. At $3k+ for a basic edition, it was begging to be bought for 300THB. Unpacked it, again, Trojan downloader detected.

Every A/V can't be wrong... So do what you will do. Me? I'm trying to be a more honest person.
 

alchemist83

Posts: 67   +22
Why does this headline say "Free games" - they are not Free, they were Pirated / stolen. It should say "Pirated games" or "Illegally downloaded games" ... If you steal something it doesn't make it "Free".
Granted you are correct to state the headline is misleading. BUT you are wrong about the other. If you didnt pay for it - it is Free. End of. Just a fact. Wazok.
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,228   +498
Wanna bet that Rockstar games are the "hackers" behind this scam? They've made the infected version (well, someone published it for them), then they "discovered" it (using some proxy of course) and told the media about it (again, using a proxy).

That way they scared the people from installing pirated software, which increased their legal sales AND they also earned some crypto, from their unfaithful users that love pirated software. But now that crypto peak has passed, they aren't earning as much, now they revealed the scam.

Pretty transparent, not very original either, but I can't say I'm judging them. They could have injected a much worse malware than that.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,573   +1,584
TechSpot Elite
Wanna bet that Rockstar games are the "hackers" behind this scam? They've made the infected version (well, someone published it for them), then they "discovered" it (using some proxy of course) and told the media about it (again, using a proxy).

That way they scared the people from installing pirated software, which increased their legal sales AND they also earned some crypto, from their unfaithful users that love pirated software. But now that crypto peak has passed, they aren't earning as much, now they revealed the scam.

Pretty transparent, not very original either, but I can't say I'm judging them. They could have injected a much worse malware than that.
I kind of look at it as they had a door to lock and used an effective and unconventional way to do it. Thieves deserve far worse.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 293   +142
Quote: "That doesn't say much with how many dumba## I've worked with in the same filed over my career who had even more "experience"." - Sadly, my experience too. Spoon-feeding people on the Windows routing table, who are supposedly 'the man' for IP / Cisco stuff. Or supporting people who are tasked with testing 'eye masks' for errors, who have never encountered a Communications Signal Analyzer before. How did they prove themselves worthy of hire in the first place I often wonder.

Regardless, if YOU have found a 'safe space' for hacky games, I would bet there are not so many like you.

But again, this is not 1998 anymore, if caught using illegal s/w (and yes, that prob doesn't mean games), there are real consequences now, as stated by another poster. Especially - if you are dumb enough to share it.

My last piece of hacky s/w was the amazing Electronic Workbench / NI's Multisim. At $3k+ for a basic edition, it was begging to be bought for 300THB. Unpacked it, again, Trojan downloader detected.

Every A/V can't be wrong... So do what you will do. Me? I'm trying to be a more honest person.
I buy almost all of my software and games but I'm not going to pretend like I'm so much better than others for it.

I know the value of having access to software before you buy it and I won't fault someone for wanting to test out something.

Your opinion is what you're really stating while I was just speaking facts.

Many many "pirate" related tools and workaround are identified as things like "keygen" or "Trojan" for a number of reasons that are legitimate for the ability of the "pirate" workaround to function.

If thats all it takes to scare you away then good the a/v programs in bed with their software brethren have done their job.

And thats fine if that's really what you want anyways "to be an honest user"

But most of us who have ACTUAL understanding of how all this works knows the difference between false positives and actual threats.

We know how to monitor and control network traffic and detect actual malicious activity happening on our systems.

We also have the "group" experience to fall back on and not just our one subjective experience to know what is or isn't actually safe. Again my windows is legit and most of games I play are all bought and paid for on steam it doesn't mean I'm above havi g a few pirated pieces of software or games from years past where even having access sometimes REQUIRES me to use pirate tools to still use.