Feeds

Mass Effect 3 crooks trick gamers with fake 'alternate ending'

Bioware to cough actual alternate finish next month

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Scammers are targeting gamers left unsatisfied by the controversial ending of popular video game Mass Effect 3.

Gamers dissatisfied by the conclusion of the recently released final chapter of the Mass Effect trilogy of video games, which completes the story of main character Commander Shepard, are invited to download an "alternative ending".

The links lead to download files that invite marks to complete a worthless survey designed to harvest personal information from gamers. Promises that the survey allows users to obtain a password supposedly needed to unlock the downloaded zip file and get at an alternative ME3 ending file are cobblers. In reality no content related to Mass Effect 3 or video-gaming more generally is on offer and the whole approach is simply designed to squeeze affiliate marketing money from dodgy marketing firms at the expense of gamers.

The scam was spotted by Chris Boyd, a security consultant at GFI Software, who warns gamers to be aware of this and similar scams they may encounter when they search for "better" endings to the game.

Game publishers Bioware are due to release an officially sanctioned alternative ending to the game in April.

Survey scammers have targeted video game enthusiasts in the past, normally in the run-up to an eagerly anticipated release. The Mass Effect 3 scam is a slight variant of the same basic approach because it latches onto a newsworthy controversy about an already-released title, rather than pent-up demand. As such, the approach is arguably more plausible and more likely to attract a mass of victims.

Mass Effect is a action-based role-playing game. Gameplay in Mass Effect 3 is influenced by decisions made in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. However the current ending of Mass Effect 3 is not much affected by a player's decisions during the preceding games, hence the controversy. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
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.