Avast Warns Cracked Games May Contain Crypto-Malware

It’s an admittedly difficult subject to broach because if you were to ask most PC gamers if they’d ever pirated title, they’d probably officially state, possibly with puppy dog eyes, that they’ve never once engaged in such heinous behaviour. However, let us presume for just one moment that you did, then following a report via TechSpot, you might want to give that next download a little pause for thought. Security researchers at Avast have warned that something rather nasty might be hiding within that cracked game installation!

Pirated Games – May Contain Malware

Following the publication of a new report by Avast, they have confirmed that an exceptionally popular piece of malware (Crackonosh) has been found hidden within many pirated gaming titles available online. Although clearly not able to provide totally accurate figures, they have already identified over 220,000 systems with this malware in place that apparently directly obtained through illegitimately owned games.

So, what is it? Well, in a nutshell, it’s a piece of malware specifically designed to hide within your system and, through your PC’s resources, grinds away at generating Cryptocurrency for a third party. With it thought to have already generated over $2,000,000 for the person/s who have put this in place, it’s clearly quite a serious problem.

Beware – And Be Aware!

People are, mostly I would hope, aware of the more general moral and legal implications involved with piracy. Given the current trend in Cryptocurrency mining, however, mining malware is potentially a risk that many people had not considered before. I mean, presuming for one second you do pirate games, just how much do you actually trust the source you are obtaining them from? This is, after all, already a rather shady business. So would you put it past them to not only steal from gaming publishers/developers by releasing these ‘cracked’ versions but to not also be tempted to take a bite out of your system’s resources? – No moral judgments here, just some food for thought.

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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