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Over the years, potential game hackers have been targeted in a number of ways, including through draconian DRM schemes and even viruses. Now it appears that file sharers who thought they were going to download a high-profile interactive erotic novel were instead victims of a security and privacy breach of epic proportions.
While probably not very popular with your average Western Modern Warfare 2 player, visual novels are very popular in Japan. Players watch and listen to a story and as it unfolds and are able to influence the outcome of the plot by making decisions that make the game branch out.
These games often have erotic and downright sexual elements and Crossed days Developer 0verflow is no different. The game suffered several delays before release, apparently so that it could be launched with a special “hands-free” USB device to experience “climax scenes” (NSFW: Man and Women versions) but it finally came out a few days ago.
Of course, not everyone would acquire the game through the official channels and many have turned to file sharing networks for their erotic gaming solution. Some, who weren’t particularly attentive to the item they were downloading, suffered quite a shock.
Next to the pirated versions of Cross Days, one can find software that claims to be the game installer, but is actually quite vicious malware that seems to be trying to punish potential hackers.
When executed, the installer pretends to be the game, but using the personal information gathered from the victim’s computer (including the IP address), it presents a survey that asks for more personal information , including their email address and password.
Once completed, the information is uploaded to a website for all Internet users to see – along with a screenshot of the victim’s desktop. Samples of the information downloaded by the Trojan can be seen here and although much of it is in Japanese, there are enough images and text in English to entertain most readers and completely embarrass the hapless reader of Keily’s factory.
Adding insult to injury, according to one report the installer’s terms of service actually say that all of these things happen, but as we all know hardly anyone reads them.
While it is possible to have the personal information of the potential hacker removed from the website, the user must first apologize for attempting to illegally download Cross Days.
Adding to the confusion, developer 0verflow reports that users of Avast! Antivirus software receives a false positive warning (Win32: Trojan-gen) when installing the real game.
This is not the first time that Japanese file sharers have been targeted by malware authors. In 2007, a bizarre virus was released that threatened to kill people who download illegally using P2P.