How not to prevent video-game piracy

The problem: someone is cracking video games. (Well, third-party game DLC, if you want to be pedantic about it.)

Apparently, one person.

We even went so far as to figure out exactly who the cracker was (we have his name available upon request of any authorities), but unfortunately we could not be able to enter the registration-only web sites he was using to provide this information to other pirates.

The game company’s solution: gather information on him.

We found through the IP addresses tracked that the particular cracker had used Chrome to contact our servers so we decided to capture his information directly…

And by “gather information,” I mean add a tool to the installer that jacks into the computer’s Chrome browser and sends all usernames and passwords to the game company. And by “add a tool,” to be clear, I mean add it to every single copy sold to every single player.

But they only “gathered” this “information” on specific, already-identified cracked pirate copies of their game, they swear. And if they didn’t ID you as a pirate, the password-stealing tool uninstalled itself. And no future update will ever re-enable that function, and it’s impossible for (other) malware peddlers to use it because the uninstall actually worked, and no more serial numbers will ever be added to the list, and they’ve heard players’ concerns and stopped doing this entirely. You can trust their integrity and competence; they’re game devs. (That was sarcasm.)

This particular dev makes add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator, so odds are you aren’t affected unless… um, flight sim isn’t a genre I know much about, lemme check SteamSpy… HOLY HELL. I’m guessing most of them didn’t shell out $100 to $140 to add a single DLC vehicle to a $25 game, but still, no wonder the dev is backpedaling so fast.

Via TorrentFreak and ZDNet.

Categories: NewscreatureTags: ,

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