“Grand Theft Auto 5” may have broken records by making $1 billion in just three days and made it into the Guinness Book of World Records seven times. But it is still only available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, much to the dismay of PC gamers around the world. It’s believed that Rockstar Games will release a PC version of “GTA 5” early in 2014, but Rockstar has not confirmed anything about it.
This hasn’t stopped thousands of eager PC gamers from downloading a BitTorrent that purports to be an early release of “GTA V” for PCs.
The massive 18GB torrent file (a full download on Xbox 360 is just 7.7 GB) looks like a legitimate file, and even behaves like one at first. It contains a working setup.exe file, and the setup process doesn’t arouse any suspicion. It is even a verified torrent file and has a very high SEO ranking in a search for “GTA V PC Torrent.” There’s even a Facebook page for the fake “GTA V” torrent.
It’s not until after setup does the file get fishy. In order to get a registration key for the fake copy of “GTA V,” a .txt file instructs users to complete a number of surveys that ask for personal information.
Even if users realize at this point that it’s a scam, the “GTA V” torrent has already downloaded 18GB worth of malicious files onto their PCs, most likely in the form of spyware.
Attacks like this aren’t new, but this one stands out in a number of ways. First of all, the size of the file is almost comically too big, and users have to struggle with slow download speeds just to get it. And while leaks of PC games do happen, the fact that “GTA V” hasn’t even been announced for PCs yet just makes this one too good to be true.
Originally from Northern California, Ryan W. Neal came to New York to earn his master's in journalism from Columbia University. He joined IB Times April 2013, and is a writer...