Feeds

Scammers exploit wannabe demon-slayers hyped by Diablo III

Go straight to hell

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Cybercrooks latched onto the release of Diablo III on Monday with a run of scams themed around the widely anticipated video game.

Blizzard's games systems collapsed due to the higher than expected demand for the demon-slaying game, The Guardian reports.

The software company is attempting to stop pirates from nicking the new game by forcing wannabe warriors to log into its servers before they can start playing the role-playing game, even if they only want to try a single-player offline campaign.

This has created a bottleneck centered around log-in systems at Blizzard, which has struggled to service demand.

Technical glitches at Blizzard were an unexpected bonus for scammers, who have launched a raft of scams featuring the promotion of bogus crack and keygen sites. These fake sites might potentially be more attractive than they normally would be as gamers struggle to get their hands on legitimate content through regular channels.

Some of the scam sites that GFI Software has identified include supposed online key purchasing websites, that actually install dodgy software on the users' PC. Other spammy Diablo 3-themed links collated by the security firm actually lead to unrelated flash games, spam linkdumps and a “donation experiment” where installs of the software on offer enter marks into a supposed prize draw giveaway. Other shenanigans on show include links to survey scams and YouTube videos offering "expert tips" on the hours-old video game.

These various scams are being promoted through the web at large and social media websites, including Facebook and Pinterest.

More details of these scams can be found in a blog post by GFI Software here.

Chris Boyd, senior threat researcher at GFI Software, and an expert in gaming security, told El Reg that the scams coinciding with the release of Diablo 3 are similar to those that have accompanied a succession of major gaming releases over recent months.

"Major releases have been an excellent target of scammers for some time now, from Fake AV [anti-virus] to SEO poisonings. There have been a number of scams targeting those stuck on Red Dead Redemption's treasure map hunts in 2010 and malware links posted to Twitter aimed at fans of Portal 2 in 2011. The most recent example of scammers looking to profit comes from Mass Effect 3, where scammers utilised surveys that promised an alternative ending to the game."

More scams accompanying future high-profile video game releases are almost inevitable, Boyd warned.

"Diablo 3 is one of the most anticipated titles of the last few years and it's only natural that dubious downloads are now in circulation. Games are now a huge draw for anybody looking to turn a fast profit," he concluded. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet
Her Maj opens 'Information Age' at the Science Museum
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries
And hipsters are finally defined as self-loathing. Sort of
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.