Torrenting Watch Dogs? Watch for Viruses

Well, this is ironic.

At least one leaked copy of upcoming console game Watch Dogs(whose main character is a hacker) apparently contains Bitcoin mining malware.If you’re stealing video games, this virus will steal computer processing powerfrom you!

Watch Dogs is a hot new third-person shooter game set inChicago. The story is told through Aiden Pearce, a hacker who uses his smartphoneto break into the city’s Central Operating System to control Chicago. The game,made by Ubisoft, is apparently breaking pre-sale records, even though it isn’tscheduled for release until May 27.

Naturally, people don’t want to wait until the release, andthe leaked PC version of Watch Dogs is all over torrent sites around the world.

According to multiplereports around theInternet, though, the highest-seeded Watch Dogs torrent is loaded withmalware. The copy allegedly contains a virus that will run the process“Winlogin.exe” whenever the computer is on, upping CPU power consumption by atleast 25 percent.

“Winlogin.exe” (not to be mistaken for “Winlogon.exe,” whichis a legitimate computer operation) is actually a background Bitcoin miningoperation, co-opting your CPU to earn the game uploader some quick coins.

Upon discovery of the malware, torrenters were not pleased.“If any of you have downloaded the SKIDROW release of this game, I suggest youstart searching your system to see if you’re mining bit coins [sic] for the f****twho uploaded it,” reads one anonymous message posted online on Saturday and publishedby tech site WCCFTech.

This trick apparently happenedwith Grand Theft Auto V’s pirated fake torrent copies as well.

Protecting yourself against this type of virus, however, issimple, said Ron Gross, the Executive Director at Mastercoin Foundation.

“People should not install applications they don’t trust,and they should be careful in who/what they trust,” Gross told Coin Telegraph.“This is not different than any other virus/trojan that can be found in filesdownloaded off the internet.”

If you’ve already downloaded Watch Dogs, check yourprocesses for the virus. Or, you know, don’t steal. 


"Co-optive mining (malicious or unapproved mining as hidden executables) is here to stay as long as mining is considered a valid way of obtaining BTC or any other mine-able coin. The people doing this are just greedy and short-sighted. All they need to do is share their earnings - even a percentage - with the downloaders and they would have more mining partners than they could handle. It just doesn't make sense to try to hijack a process that is supposed to be about - and thrives in - an atmosphere of sharing." Rik Willard


Follow us on Facebook