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Grand Theft Auto V sold more than $1 billion worth of units in a week – no wonder cybercriminals are tempted to cash in.
Thousands of PC gamers have been tempted by a torrent file on piracy sites, entitled “GTA V Full PC Game + Crack”, according to PC World. One fact that should perhaps have triggered an “alarm” signal is that the game has not been released – or even announced – for PC.
The scammers even went to the lengths of making the file convincingly large – it’s 18GB – and it has been downloaded “thousands” of times, according to WCCFTech, which originally reported the scam.
“The setup file is a realistic 18 GB and has an actual setup.exe file, one that works. Basically a malicious replica of the original setup file this one does not give out any hint of malicious activity,” says WCCFTech. “Only after you get on the registration window do you hit a snag. From there on, a .txt file located claims to have a key on a page where the user is forced to do surveys.”
PC Gamer says it’s not clear what exactly the 18GB of data is, but it may well be malicious – or just junk that clogs up your PC.
“And what about the 18GB worth of files itself? That’s less clear,” the site writes. “ In a best-case scenario, it’s just junk data that clogged your pipes and chewed up your bandwidth cap. In a worst-case scenario—and a more likely one—it’s probably infested with malware and other nasty stuff.”
Forbes points out that offering torrents of popular and unreleased games is a relatively common scam, with the as-yet-unreleased sci-fi game Titanfall already “available” on several sites.
Rockstar has yet to comment on the scam.
Pre-release films and games are often used as bait to lure victims to spam pages, data-harvesting “surveys” or malware sites. Earlier this year, streams of hit films were offered via document-sharing service SlideShare – including then-unreleased titles such as Man of Steel and World War Z. The sites, of course, attempted to harvest information instead – and offered no video streams at all.
Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security