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Cyberpunk 2077 is almost here, with the hugely anticipated new title from CD PROJEKT RED launching on Thursday December 10. After a number of delays, and riding a wave of huge hype, Cyberpunk 2077 will be arriving on the PS4, Xbox One, PCs and Google Stadia very shortly. But ahead of the game’s fast approaching release date security experts are warning fans about scams that cyber criminals are circulating.
As revealed in a post by Kaspersky, con-artists are trying to trick gamers into downloading bogus ‘free’ copies of Cyberpunk 2077.
The cybersecurity and anti-virus experts have spotted a number of websites, all with similar designs and in different languages, that claim to offer visitors free copies of Cyberpunk 2077.
If a gamer attempts to download this ‘free’ copy of Cyberpunk 2077 they will download an executable file that appears to be an installer on their computer.
When this is opened players are greeted with an alleged menu screen for Cyberpunk 2077, with a number of inactive buttons.
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One of the buttons players can press is install, and when this is clicked a window appears allegedly showing progress on the game being downloaded and unpacked.
However, as you can probably guess this programme does nothing but mimic a real installation process before promoting the user to enter a valid license key.
If a gamer doesn’t have one, then they are directed to press a ‘get license key’ button – which sends users to a survey website.
This website asks a number of unrelated questions as well as asking for personal contact information, such as an e-mail address and phone number.
Kaspersky said this sensitive information is the likely target of the attack, as it can be used for future spamming campaigns.
Even if this information is provided, users never receive a license key, and are left with a fake download of Cyberpunk 2077 which doesn’t run.
Kaspersky explained: “After receiving all of the answers, the site does provide a key — and it appears to work because it was coded into the fake installer. The game loads, and it looks like fun time may have arrived at last. Well, not quite. The app displays a splash screen but then says it is missing a DLL required to run the game.
“The frustrated user now has to click on another Download button and again is redirected to a Web page with yet another survey (which is a dead end).
“Once again, alas, no pot of gold waits at the end of the rainbow. Patient users will find only a fake installer and a “game” that never gets past the splash screen.”
Kaspersky also offered further advice on how to stay clear of such scams…
• Remember that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. A website offering a free version of one of the most anticipated games of the year before the release date is bound to be fake.
• Think twice before giving any website personal information or payment details. In cases of sites promising access to a coveted file or key, you’ll be wasting your time — or worse.
• Use a reliable security solution with a database of fraudulent resources that is updated in real time. It will tell you which sites to steer clear of, and it will protect you from malware.
While Ray Walsh, Digital Privacy Expert at ProPrivacy, said: “Consumers must be extremely wary of any ads, pop-ups, emails, or social media messages that claim to provide an opportunity to get Cyberpunk 2077 for less. If you receive any message or advert that claims you can win a copy of Cyberpunk 2077 you must delete the message at once.
“Following the link will cause your data to be phished and could lead you to become infected with malware that allows the hacker to gain a foothold on your machine.
“Hackers are actively creating believable malicious websites that make it seem like consumers can win a copy of the game.
“In reality, clicking on a download for Cyberpunk – that you did not pay for in an official store such as Steam – will cause you to have your personal data phished or potentially to become infected with malware.
“Consumers are reminded that the installation screen for the scam version of Cyberpunk 2077 could have a highly believable splash screen that makes it go unnoticed as malware until it is too late.”
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