Starcraft 2 Launch Day Piracy Infects Eager Games

While some members of our Threat Research group are attending talks at the Black Hat Briefings, the rest of the team is back at our offices, hard at work watching for novel threats.

That’s good news for gamers, and bad news for malware distributors who might try to take advantage of a confluence of events where many elite members of the security community are temporarily turned away from monitors while they attend the conference. I received a warning about one potential threat facing gamers who might turn to piracy to get a copy of Blizzard’s new real-time-strategy game, Starcraft II.

Apparently, there are a flood of torrents where gamers can download purportedly pirated versions of SC2. While your less ethical gamer might cheer this news, you might be less pleased to find out that some of the SC2 torrents appear to bring along a side order of malware. One of the torrents, for example, touted as a custom game launcher, drops the Zbot keylogger Trojan—albeit a variant we can easily detect and remove.

While this isn’t exactly new, we’re finding that the incredible demand for this game is driving malware distributors to supply something that looks like what the gamers want. We’ll keep an eye on this trend, and update the post if necessary with more details as they become available.

And if you want a copy of the game, just go out and buy it. It may not be the most thrifty use of your money, but it’s the ethical thing to do, and the safest way to get a copy of the game.

Andrew Brandt researches malware for Webroot Software, and contributes to the Webroot Threat Blog. As a member of the Threat Research team, he and his colleagues help identify malicious software trends and improve the Webroot Antivirus with Antispyware product. Andrew joined the team in 2006. Prior to coming to Webroot, he worked for PC World magazine as a Senior Associate Editor, covering computer security and privacy issues for nearly a decade. In that role, he also wrote the Privacy Watch column. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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