As we know, “cracked” software and video games are often full of viruses and other malware. Researchers from the Ahnlab Security Emergency Response Center have discovered a campaign that specifically targets gamers and uses an original file format.
We can never repeat it enough, but downloading cracked versions of video games or applications is dangerous. At best, programs from unverified sources install adware, and at worst, these apps deploy malware. AhnLab security researchers have discovered that cyber hackers are currently deploying a phishing campaign aimed at gamers.
According to Bleeping Computer, the novelty of this campaign lies in the format of the file used. If cracked software is usually distributed through ISO files, which create a virtual optical disk drive on the PC, cybercriminals have this time opted for the VHD format, which creates a virtual hard disk.
Hackers distribute ChromeLoader malware inside pirated games
That said, the intention of hackers is always to trick Internet users by baiting them with pirated versions of the most famous video game franchises. A simple Google search led them to sites offering titles such as “Elden Ring, ROBLOX, Dark Souls 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, Need for Speed, Call of Duty, Portal 2, Minecraft, Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, and many more”.
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These fake games contain a malicious extension called ChromeLoader, which steals personal information and search history from the browser. The latter will then inadvertently redirect you to targeted advertising sites, which will generate passive income for hackers. ChromeLoader can also install ransomware. Of course, the only way to avoid this type of mishap is to refrain from downloading video games or any software from unofficial sites.
Source: Bleeping Computer