Feeds

Superhero game beta sucks boobs into honeypot

'Absolutely the most useless Beta key in history'

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Gamers anxious to try out DC Universe Online ahead of its official release have become the targets of a scam designed to trick them into completing bogus surveys.

DC Universe Online, a multiplayer online game for Playstation 3 and PCs, will allow gamers to take out bad guys alongside the likes of Batman, Superman and other DC Comics superheroes. Fraudsters have latched onto interest in the game as a theme for fake survey scams that earn them affiliate revenues from unscrupulous web firms.

Numerous fraudulent YouTube videos and blogs have sprung up over recent days touting fake key generation tools for the eagerly-anticipated comic book themed game. Most of these videos or blog posts point to the same spamblog, which invites users to download the “DC Universe Online Beta Registration” package.

Users who attempt to download the software are obliged to complete one of a range of surveys that falsely offer iPads and the like as a potential prize for answering a few questions. In reality, the surveys attempt to hoodwink marks into handing over personal information for later spamming or worse.

Gamers taken in by the scam who progress far enough to download the supposed key generation tool will be left disappointed. The tool is not malicious, but neither does it work.

"Hitting 'Generate Code' gives you a Beta key that is absolutely the most useless Beta key in the history of anything," reports Chris Boyd (paperghost), a security researcher at Sunbelt Software and experienced gamer.

"All the program does is display the same short list of non random codes over and over again, every time you fire it up. Predictably, this doesn’t help very much when trying to join the Beta."

Survey scams have become a popular way to trick gamers into wasting their time in order to rake in disreputable affiliate incomes over recent months. Previous cons, for example, have targeted Doctor Who fans.

"Anything that takes place after you’ve filled in the survey is just filler – the story ends once you’ve filled in a survey and the scammer has generated affiliate cash," Boyd explains. "All you’re left with is a (non infectious) fake application, a bunch of non working Beta keys and a grumpy Activation Code page telling you off for repeatedly entering fake codes."

Boyd has published a full write-up of the scam, complete with screenshots, in a blog post here. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
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
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.