Dodgy Doctor Who games may be malwarey
Security experts are warning that "unauthorised copies" of a Doctor Who game released last weekend that have begun circulating on P2P networks are likely to pack a nasty surprise.
The BBC released the licence-payer-funded game City of the Daleks last Friday, free of charge to UK residents (official site here). Fans of the Time Lord from outside the UK have been promised paid-for versions of the game at some later date, but in the meantime geo-location technology stops them from downloading the software from the UK site.
Frustrated overseas fans might be tempted to look for copies of the game on P2P networks but this approach is fraught with danger, warns Sunbelt Software security researcher Chris Boyd. Although some copies of the game appear to be legit, others come with different file sizes and filenames.
For example, instead of a 331MB “Installer-CityoftheDaleks.exe” file users are offered a 475MB file called “Setup.exe” in one example. And there's no guarantee that even those files that match the right size and name are the genuine article. Even more suspicious are the cases where would-be gamers are advised to disable anti-virus protection before proceeding with a download.
"There are some things even the mighty sonic screwdriver can’t fix, and your PC is probably one of them," Boyd warns in a blog post, containing screenshots of the genuine game and suspicious downloads, here.
Boyd told El Reg he is still in the process of analysing files. He hopes to post more information once he has scoped out the problem.
"There are still a number of large files popping up on torrents and forums claiming to be versions of the game that can bypass the region protection - while the files examined so far don't appear to be doing anything untoward, I have seen a couple of smaller sized files out there (2MB or less!) claiming to be Doctor Who games since the real thing was released," Boyd told El Reg.
"As you've probably guessed, they're not very friendly." ®
Can't download outside the UK?
This is payback for all those times me and my fellow brits have been unable to watch stuff on hulu.com et al, just because we don't live on the other side of the Atlantic.
Suck it yanks! - Or find a proxy! :D
Thieving little bastards?
I'm not interested in a Dr Who game, however I would be interested to hear your opinions regarding 'support' for ex-pats living in Europe. I can watch the live broadcasts (SD or HD), but can I get anything useful off the website? Sorry, I live in the wrong place, over and over. Oh, yes, we can *pay* for a product offered free to 62 million people. There are numerous children over here who still think of the UK as their home, and who watch UK television more or less non-stop and little French (or Spanish, etc) TV. You might want to consider this before automatically assuming everybody is just "a thieving bastard".
Oh, and don't bitch about me getting "something for nothing" and that I don't pay a TV licence. That's irrelevant as I have stated previously (on El Reg in fact) that I would be willing to *pay* a UK licence - primarily for access to the VOD features. But... silence. And I won't hold my breath.
I happily pay for the license fee, as it means that I can have a couple of channels/radio stations that a) have quality programs on that aren't always repeats, b) don't have adverts every five sodding minutes and c) don't give biased, scare-mongering news in words of one syllable or less so that the professionally unemployed can understand it (ok, BBC3 might be one-syllable, but still unbiased).
Ashes to Ashes, DW, Life on Mars, TopGear et al are worth every single penny my opinion.
Why yes, mine IS the fireproof one.
Er... get yourself set up with a proxy server or VPN so you can pretend to be watching iPlayer from within the UK. Costs a little less than paying the licence fee too :-)
There are plenty of people in this country who, given the choice, would quite happily give up the right to watch the BBC in exchange for not having to pay the licence fee. Some of them are people who hardly watch BBC because they are more interested in satelite sport/music/movies (which they are prepared to pay for). Others are people who struggle to afford the licence and would be prepared to only watch commercial channels to save that money.
Why are those people now having to pay for a sodding game to be developed?
This is a prime example of the BBC using their bloated budget to do things they never should be doing, at public expense, and in the process stiffling many smaller businesses.
In this case, surely the BBC should be licencing the characters to some software firm, who could make and sell the damn game to anyone who wants it? Reducing the licence fee, rather than making people who only want to watch a bit of telly pay for it all?