Feeds

Superhero game beta sucks boobs into honeypot

'Absolutely the most useless Beta key in history'

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.