GTA V mods 'noclip' and 'angry planes' installing malware onto users’ PCs

The game has been praised for letting people create whatever they like — but some of them allow people to track what you’re doing on your computer

Andrew Griffin
Friday 15 May 2015 10:48
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GTA V mods can be used to make the game have flying car, falling whales and an eerie flooded landscape. But they can also let people take over your computer and run malicious code.

The modifications change the code of the game so that new features, objects and landscapes can be added to it. But malicious code could be packaged in those downloads, which gets installed at the same time.

On a forum for players of the game, one user said that they have spotted malware in two mods. Those spotted were “noclip”, which lets people walk through walls and objects, and “angry planes” which spawns planes that attack players.

The mods came packaged with code that installed a file called fade.exe, which connects to the internet. It seems to use that connection to read what users are doing and then send it off across the internet — potentially to be used to break into accounts and commit identity theft.

The malicious code watches user by hijacking a genuine part of Windows. It doesn’t seem to come into effect until players open the game, and so just downloading it is thought not to cause the problems.

The mods identified have since been removed from the websites that were hosting them. But since the problem exists more are likely to come, and users have been warned to change passwords and be wary of future downloads.

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