Feeds

Spyware targets frustrated GTA IV gamers

Drive-by spam attacks blight carjack game launch

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Gamers desperate to get their mitts on Grand Theft Auto IV are being targeted in an opportunistic spyware scam. Spam emails offer prospective marks free entry to a draw offering a PlayStation 3 loaded with the much-anticipated game as a prize.

In reality, these illicit emails are loaded with spyware designed to swipe personal financial information from compromised PCs.

Grand Theft Auto IV for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 was released today to delirium from avid gamers. But some wouldbe buyers have been left disappointed as game stores have been unable to fulfill demand to the extent that even a minority of fans who pre-ordered the game have been left empty-handed.

Spammers are seeking to exploit this disappointment with a carefully targeted spam scam.

Consumer-focused spam filtering firm ClearMyMail claims that more than half of the junk mail being blocked by its service on Tuesday is Grand Theft Auto IV-related. The vast majority of the junk mail messages offer the opportunity to win a PS3 complete with the game.

"We are seeing unprecedented levels of spam in relation to the game; with more than half of the spam our service is blocking relating to Grand Theft Auto, most of which contain viruses and spyware," said Dan Field, Managing Director of www.ClearMyMail.com. Field advised keen gamers to wait until they can legitimately purchase the game rather than fall victim to "opportunists" capitalising on pent-up demand.

Stuart Rowe, chief operating officer at online retailer Play.com, said the game has created unprecedented demand. "We're experiencing trading levels similar to what we would see in the run up to Christmas, taking over 80 orders per minute at peak times," he said. "We have had to recruit extra warehouse staff to work through the night to ensure product arrives on the day of launch." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.