Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto 5 has been the center of controversy ever since it finally came out on PC last month, an event which should have marked a happy occasion for all. The game brought 60 frames per second graphics and the potential for huge modifications, but complications with Rockstar Games has led to several modders being banned from Grand Theft Auto Online simply for playing modifications in singleplayer.
Modders had been waiting for months to get their hands on a computer-friendly edition of the game, and wasted little time in adding things like graphic enhancements or gravity guns to Grand Theft Auto 5. A good chunk of those who installed the modifications soon found themselves permanently banned by Rockstar Games, for fear that they would used modification to inject an ill-gotten cash flow into the online world’s economy. It’s been a bad scene ever since, with little communication coming from Rockstar Games – and now, it seems, at least two of the modifications that have been in circulation contain malware.
The two specific modifications are called Angry Planes and NoClip, and have been widely available for some time now since the game launched in April. The mods activate the malware by installing a file called ‘fade.exe’ when users run the game, which in turn installs a keylogger onto the victims computer. The keylogger can then track each key pressed on the keyboard, and sends that information to the hacker(s) so they can see any usernames, passwords or conversations typed from the infected computer.
Luckily (for some), the keylogger is only activated if the modification is actually played, so those who have simply installed the mod and haven’t gotten around to playing yet should be safe – though ultimately anyone who’s downloaded modifications for Grand Theft Auto 5 should give their computer a virus and malware scan just to be safe, alongside updating their passwords for any accounts that have been accessed since installing the modifications.
Downloading third party modifications always comes with these risks, and gamers should always exercise caution when installing content doesn’t come from the official developer. Since the discovery, plenty of Grand Theft Auto fans have been combing over the other modifications to see if more have hiding malware – so far, there have been no more discoveries, and we’ll keep you up to date if this changes.
A recent update by Rockstar Games broke all modifications for the game last week, but workarounds have since been developed. Whilst most of the mods were likely created with good intentions, gamers might want to think twice and read some reviews before making any downloads.
Grand Theft Auto 5 arrived for PC on April 14th, 2015.