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Fake gaming torrents new avenue for hackers to spread their malware

In life, it is always best to get things through the correct channels. In the latest series of being infected because of pirated stuff, gamers who are looking for pirated games are now at risk of downloading malware instead of what they are looking for. Popular video games that are available on pirate sites are now one of the chief ways to distribute malware, which involves using tactics such as using fake game torrents which would then lure victims and also spread malicious PUAs.

Fake gaming torrents new avenue for hackers to spread their malwareCybercriminals have been using games such as World of Warcraft: Legion, The Division, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, The Walking Dead, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Just Cause 3 as their way of distributing malware for all those who are downloading the games from pirated sites.

The malware distribution was uncovered by the security firm, Symantec and they cautioned all gamers of the dangers which are involved with installing pirated games on their systems and consoles. Several websites were identified which have been offering pirated versions of the games above through some fake torrent files. In the link, a malicious script will be hidden which would attempt to infect the systems automatically when they are installed. The file also uses a logo which is similar to the UTorrent login as they attempt to dupe customers into believing that they are legit.

Symantec said that they had managed to find fake torrents on many sites, and they all had games such as Assassin’s Creed Syndicate or The Witcher 3. These games were the bait for the gamers who would go on to download the infected fake torrent. Symantec also said that they believed the perpetrators in this scenario were trying to fly under the radar as they abused more and more pay per install affiliate programs. The campaign has been used to spread PUAs only at the moment but may be used in the future to deliver even more devastating security malware or risks.

A PUA is a malware which affects the user’s privacy and also slows the system performance and can also go further to cripple the system’s security. After that hackers can easily exploit the system. Symantec said that the PUA can be installed through various ways onto people’s systems. One way is for it to arrive as a freeware application or be input through a third party application. Most of the times users consent would be required for it to install but in other cases, a powerful and silent would install quietly.

However user’s can get some protection from the Windows User Access Control since it stops malicious scripts from running, but in other instances, the malware programmers can design it to instruct users to download the malware and let it run on the computer even after being warned by the UAC. If users then ignore the UAC warning, the PUA will go on to download more and more of itself.