Some users have been downloading GTA V mods in order to make the game contain flying cars, falling whales or a flooded landscape.
One unwanted side effect of the mods is the fact that some of them can let other people gain access to your computer and run malware. The modifications themselves change the code of GTA V in order to introduce new features, but malicious code can also be contained in them.
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Two mods containing malware identified by players
Players have noticed malware in two different mods, and one of their number took to a forum to warn others of the malicious code. Two of the offending mods are known as “noclip,” which allows players to walk through walls, and “angry planes,” which leads to the creation of planes which swoop down and attack players as they make their way through the game environment.
The two mods may appear to be fun on the surface, but they are packaged with code which installs a file called fade.exe. The file connects to the internet, and uses the connection to monitor user activity on their PC before transmitting it to hackers, who could then use it to access accounts and steal users’ identity.
Hackers use the code to hijack a genuine part of Windows, using it to record user activity. It is only activated once players open GTA V, so no issues occur if the user simply downloads the file. Since the discovery was made, the mod have been removed from various websites.
GTA V gamers urged to be wary when downloading mods
However that is unlikely to be the end of the problem, with other mods packaged with malware likely to be released in the future. Users are advised to change their passwords and be careful when downloading other mods.
It is always tempting to download mods which allow for strange new features, or make it easier to avoid the cops on GTA V. Despite the temptation to download mods which take your star rating back to zero after embarking on a huge killing spree, be aware that there are real life criminals who may take advantage of your appetite for virtual delinquency.