After eight years of waiting and numerous postponements, ‘Cyberpunk 2077’, one of the world’s most renowned action role-playing video games, is finally being released today, December 10. While the gaming community gets ready to enjoy playing the most anticipated game of the last decade, scammers are already benefiting by taking advantage of impatient players.
During the first 10 months of 2020, Kaspersky observed that scammers are consistently interested in gamers who are looking forward to Cyberpunk 2077. For instance, between January and November 2020, the company’s experts detected more than 3,300 attempts to infects users from around the world with various threats that mimic a game that has not even been released yet. Moreover, scammers came up with more advanced and more sophisticated threats.
Analyzing the detected threats, Kaspersky experts found several websites offering gamers the chance to download Cyberpunk 2077 before its official release date. Installers from these sites look very much like the real one, but in fact, do not download any game files: they just wait for a while and then ask the user for a license key. This key can be acquired by completing a scammer’s survey followed by entering personal data, such as email addresses and phone numbers. As a result, the user receives the long-awaited key which does not lead to anything. Instead the victim is shown a splash screen, and when the app begins the user is told it lacks a DLL, a code file that contains functions important to start the game. To get this DLL, the user is again prompted to fill out the survey, but this time there is no further action.
“Cybercriminals’ increased interest in Cyberpunk 2077 is understandable. The gaming community has been waiting for this game for years and now, on the eve of its release, scammers hope to extract valuable information from their victims who cannot wait to play the game. So, we urge everyone who, like many of us, is impatient to play this game, to wait for the official launch and to download it from trusted sources,” says Kaspersky security expert Anton Ivanov.
In order to avoid falling victim to a scam:
- Be skeptical about any news or extremely generous offers and promotions. Always remember that if something looks too good to be true, it is most likely fake
- Purchase games responsibly. Check the reputation of the distribution service before downloading a game: If they have already been found to have acted unethically in the past, then you should avoid this release.
- Verify that messages are coming from reliable sources before entering their data, paying money or downloading any programs
- Use a reliable internet security solution. Kaspersky products detect the sites described in this post with the verdict HEUR: Hoax.Script.FakeGame.gen, and the files downloaded from them as HEUR: Hoax.MSIL.FakeGame.gen.
- After getting around the tricks of fraudsters and safely downloading a game, do not forget to run a gaming mode build in your security solution while obtaining new great achievements.