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Risk

5/14/2008
10:28 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
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Grand Theft Auto IV Fans Under Assault

Identity thieves, creative scourge that they are, are always looking for the most recent trend, craze, news event, or blockbuster hit to pin their phishing and social engineering scams on the unwitting. Now they're targeting the runaway hit Grand Theft Auto IV.

Identity thieves, creative scourge that they are, are always looking for the most recent trend, craze, news event, or blockbuster hit to pin their phishing and social engineering scams on the unwitting. Now they're targeting the runaway hit Grand Theft Auto IV.The Telegraph is reporting that attackers are seeding P2P networks with bogus soundtracks, promising cheat codes, and even fully functional pirated copies of the game. Turns out if they download any of these files, the downloader's are getting nailed with Trojans and spyware designed to pilfer the user's personal data.

That's right: online criminals are targeting copyright thieves to steal their identities. There's a punch line in that irony somewhere.

From The Telegraph's story:

John Safa, a former hacker who now works in cybersecurity, discovered a virus just minutes after logging on to a file sharing network.

He said: "This particular software sharing site has about 10 million users, so if only a tiny percentage download the software it is still hundreds of thousands of people that could be affected.

"Games users are not as technically savvy as PC users so they think they can download the patch, run it, and it will be fine, but then it goes 'kaboom'."

Maybe it's not identity thieves seeding the P2P networks at all, but the RIAA (there are soundtracks involved, after all). Kaboom! You've been sued ...

If there is any good news to be found in any of this, it's that maybe these P2P networks will get so polluted with this kind of sludge that the blatant piracy problem takes care of itself.

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