Malicious keylogger malware found lurking in highly publicized GTA V mod

This hidden mod malware puts the Grand Theft in Grand Theft Auto V.

Mods! They're a big part of what makes PC gaming so great. They're an even bigger part of the Grand Theft Auto franchise's success on PCs. But malicious no-goodniks out there have seized advantage of the current spotlight on GTA V to slip nasty keylogger malware into some of the mods available for the game--including the otherwise awesome-looking "Angry Planes" mod that made the rounds on the big gaming sites this week.

GTA Forums member aboutseven first noticed Angry Planes misbehaving, Kotaku reports. He became suspicious when he noticed an odd C# compiler program running in his system processes, sending and receiving data across the web. Further digging revealed a Fade.exe executable buried in his PC's Temporary Files folder, keeping logs of his activity and altering the Windows registry to silently launch at system boot. Gulp.

Aboutseven eradicated Fade.exe from his system, but noticed it sprung back to life whenever he ran GTA V with mods installed. After a bit more trial and error, he pinpointed the Angry Planes mod as the culprit. Another mod dubbed "No Clip" was also found to contain the malware.

Why this matters: Bad guys always find a way to ruin a good thing. But this fiasco drives home an important point: Mods are software designed to run on your system, and you should religiously scan all software you download with anti-virus and anti-malware tools before you run them. Yes, even mods.

If you need some AV recommendations and don't have a dime to spare on premium suites, PCWorld's guide to building the ultimate free security suite can point you in the right direction.

The dangers of Angry planes

So what, exactly, does Fade.exe do? Fellow GTA Forums member ckck performed an analysis after also being infected by Angry Planes and claims the Trojan malware used his PC to participate in a DDoS attack against a Twitch game streamer. He also says he found the following modules active inside the malware:

  • "Facebook spam/credential stealing module
  • Twitch spam/credential stealing module
  • spam/credential stealing module
  • A Steam spamming module
  • A Steam module that evaluates the items in your inventory and their value based on current market value
  • A Keylogger module that logs individual button presses in an XML like format, it also includes information about context switches (switching from one app/window to another)
  • A UDP flooding module
  • There were others I hadn't deciphered and didn't see in action."

Fortunately, of the sites that hosted the malware-ridden mods as well as many, many more legit GTA V mods--promptly removed the offenders, issuing a public apology and explanation. If you've used Angry Planes or No Clip with GTA V, perform an anti-malware scan with one of the AV programs that detects the malicious file. Since the keylogger malware monitors Steam, Facebook, and Twitch, you'll want to change your passwords for those services, as well. Heck, changing all your passwords would be the smartest idea.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags TempoforumsecuritygaminggamesGT

More about FacebookMessenger

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Brad Chacos

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place