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Watch Dogs Torrent Comes with Bitcoin Malware

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 19 comments

Mining Bitcoin efficiently requires a powerful computer, and few home computers are more powerful than gaming rigs. Enterprising hackers may have corrupted a pirated version of Ubisoft's anticipated game "Watch Dogs" with insidious Bitcoin mining software.

According to the PC gaming site Gamecrastinate, a significant number of users downloading unauthorized "Watch Dogs" torrents reported a mysterious process called "winlogin.exe" (not the legitimate winlogon.exe) eating up to 25 percent of their CPUs' processing cycles. A little research pegged the most recent program using that name as a fairly powerful Bitcoin miner.

MORE: Most-Anticipated Games of 2014

That pirates have seeded hot titles corrupted with malware on torrent sites is hardly surprising, but using gaming rigs to mine Bitcoin is a fairly clever idea. Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency that users earn by volunteering their computers for complex calculations that benefit the currency's ecosystem.

A single Bitcoin is currently worth approximately $561. In theory, a moderately powerful gaming rig could generate a Bitcoin in 100 days — provided that the machine ran with absolutely no other functions for 24 hours per day with a stellar Internet connection and no overheating. Hundreds of gaming rigs tied together by malware into a botnet, however, could generate bitcoins considerably more quickly.

Attaching mining software to a demanding game such as "Watch Dogs," then, is actually a rather clever idea. A whole fleet of gaming rigs in tandem could generate Bitcoins fairly quickly and without much effort on the original hacker's part. Anyone downloading "Watch Dogs" most likely has a fairly robust machine on which to run it.

If you've installed the hacked copy of "Watch Dogs," there's not much to be done except to get rid of it, delete the software located in a folder called OaPja and run a few malware scans.

The easiest way to avoid falling prey to such scams in the future is, of course, to buy new games through legitimate channels, but video game pirates often have entire laundry lists of arguments against such a practice. In that case, at least be sure to read user comments about each torrent and avoid downloads with negative ratings.

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  • -8 Hide
    zigzaggar , May 27, 2014 9:42 AM
    Makes me wonder if it would be a good idea for game companies to provide a free copy of their game with mining software, maybe a week after retail release. Once the software has mined enough money it would disable itself, or keep going, but preferably not. People would get free games and companies would make money off of them.

    It would be better than most DRM at least. According to the figures in the article it would take about 65 days of playing the game 4 hours a day to make 60$(you should check my math, I make no guarantees).
  • -8 Hide
    cityuser , May 27, 2014 9:47 AM
    Since UBI has been corrupted by nVidia and implant source code in this game that unfairly make AMD card performance below expectation, I won't purchase a legit. copy.
  • 1 Hide
    wurkfur , May 27, 2014 9:47 AM
    Or people could just mine, sell the bitcoins and buy the game normally. Also, Nvidia cards don't mine for crap. It would be an AMD only affair.
  • Display all 19 comments.
  • 5 Hide
    wurkfur , May 27, 2014 9:49 AM
    Cityuser, head over to Hardocp. AMD performance was actually superior in certain situations. Stop spouting nonsense. AMD dropped new drivers TODAY.
  • -2 Hide
    zigzaggar , May 27, 2014 9:51 AM
    Quote:
    Makes me wonder if it would be a good idea for game companies to provide a free copy of their game with mining software, maybe a week after retail release. Once the software has mined enough money it would disable itself, or keep going, but preferably not. People would get free games and companies would make money off of them.

    It would be better than most DRM at least. According to the figures in the article it would take about 65 days of playing the game 4 hours a day to make 60$(you should check my math, I make no guarantees).


    I couldn't figure out how to edit so I just quoted instead.
    I now realize I made a mistake, the 65 days is assuming 4 hours a day with nothing but the mining software running, but if it were like the malware it would only run at 25% so it would take closer to 260 days to make the 60$. And to complicate things more, the malware looks as though it was only affecting the CPU, but if the GPU was also used then the time to mine 60$ would be decreased.
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , May 27, 2014 10:42 AM
    You can edit your commends in the forum it self. Just click the ' 's
    See this image

    <img src=http://i59.tinypic.com/2s662kw.png>
    http://i59.tinypic.com/2s662kw.png
  • 1 Hide
    zigzaggar , May 27, 2014 11:52 AM
    Quote:
    You can edit your commends in the forum it self. Just click the ' 's
    See this image

    <img src=http://i59.tinypic.com/2s662kw.png>
    http://i59.tinypic.com/2s662kw.png


    Those quotes don't appear for me. The only quotes are for quoting other people. I tried on Firefox( w/ w/o ad-block) and on chrome.
    I remember hearing that comments could be changed in the forums so I had looked, but couldn't find them.

    Thanks though.
  • 0 Hide
    dextermat , May 27, 2014 12:07 PM
    **facepalm**
  • -1 Hide
    danwat1234 , May 27, 2014 1:14 PM
    Or another idea instead of not downloading a random Watch Dogs torrent, is to download on that is from a known good group and has positive comments with confirmation of no malware.
  • 3 Hide
    RCguitarist , May 27, 2014 1:18 PM
    Serves the people who downloaded the game right. I hope it destroys thier pcs from overworking them. If you can afford to build a $1,000+ gaming pc, you can afford to buy the games too. Pirating games just raises the cost of the games for everyone else.

    As for the commenter with the AMD conspiracy theory, this comment will be removed if I try to describe how stupid you are.
  • -2 Hide
    coolitic , May 27, 2014 2:18 PM
    Simple solution: stop stealing money from game devs
  • 1 Hide
    cityuser , May 27, 2014 5:42 PM
    Come to see what nVidia did to unfairly obstruct AMD card from normal behaving:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2014/05/26/why-watch-dogs-is-bad-news-for-amd-users-and-potentially-the-entire-pc-gaming-ecosystem/
  • -1 Hide
    cityuser , May 27, 2014 5:44 PM
    Quote:
    Serves the people who downloaded the game right. I hope it destroys thier pcs from overworking them. If you can afford to build a $1,000+ gaming pc, you can afford to buy the games too. Pirating games just raises the cost of the games for everyone else.

    As for the commenter with the AMD conspiracy theory, this comment will be removed if I try to describe how stupid you are.

  • -1 Hide
    cityuser , May 27, 2014 5:45 PM
    Quote:
    Serves the people who downloaded the game right. I hope it destroys thier pcs from overworking them. If you can afford to build a $1,000+ gaming pc, you can afford to buy the games too. Pirating games just raises the cost of the games for everyone else.

    As for the commenter with the AMD conspiracy theory, this comment will be removed if I try to describe how stupid you are.

    Is this a conspiracy?
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2014/05/26/why-watch-dogs-is-bad-news-for-amd-users-and-potentially-the-entire-pc-gaming-ecosystem/
  • 0 Hide
    neon neophyte , May 27, 2014 10:24 PM
    eh, im on the last few missions of watchdogs. ran without a hitch on my old hardware. on ultra details/vsync/AA/AO. on 14.4 drivers no less.

    the cpu use was pretty high, 70 to 100 percent. gpu ran at 100 but i never dipped below 30fps and sometimes saw 60.

    totally playable experience for me. ive heard others have had problems with better hardware though, so who knows.
  • 0 Hide
    Nahkman , May 28, 2014 12:32 AM
    "to buy new games through legitimate channels, but video game pirates often have entire laundry lists of arguments against such a practice."

    All scene groups state in their nfo-s and in their installers: "Support the game developers, if you like the game - Buy IT!"
  • 0 Hide
    Christopher1 , May 28, 2014 4:21 AM
    Or simply go to any website that has a trusted uploader program, like TPB. Problem solved if you only download the trusted torrents.
  • 0 Hide
    techguy911 , May 28, 2014 5:14 AM
    This article is not accurate an i7 3770 is only capable of 5.2 mh/s at that rate with current difficulty not using gpu it would take over a year if your your lucky.
    Cpu mining even gpu mining is not profitable for bitcoin other crypo currency maybe.
    5.2 mh/s = 0.00000761 BTC a month.
  • 0 Hide
    4745454b , May 28, 2014 7:05 AM
    I stopped downloading .exe's ages ago. Chance of crap is just to high. For me, it's worth it to buy from Steam and know that I'm get a legit good copy. My ex felt otherwise and couldn't understand why she had such problems with windows all the time.
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