With all of the exciting advances in technology in the last few years, it can be easy to forget some of the basic lessons learnt from the early days of the internet. GTA V gamers were reminded of one of these lessons this week when they discovered that, yes, files downloaded from the internet can still contain viruses and malware.
Originally reported by Kotaku, reports of GTA V players suspecting their downloaded game mods containing more than game customizations began surfacing recently and their fears have now been confirmed. One of the culprits is the game mod "Angry Planes" which has garnered a lot of popularity recently due to the humorous way it spawns kamikaze planes in-game. According to GTA players, it installs a keylogger on computers which, as you’ve probably guessed, records which keyboard keys a user presses. This can be used to steal passwords, account information and banking details.
A GTA Vice City mod manager was also suspected of carrying viruses though appears to be fine after checking with its host site’s manager.
Even with the latest system and software updates, downloading files always carries the risk of exposing computers to vulnerabilities no matter which operating system or hardware is used. In addition to keeping a computer up to date (turn on those auto updates!), an easy way to protect yourself is to restrict the download of files from unofficial sites and third-party mirrors. This can be difficult with game mods as, by their very nature, they’re created by third parties who have no ties to the original game’s game developers or associated companies even though they may voice their approval of mods like GTA developer Rockstar did earlier this month when they went on the record as saying they actually appreciate all the mods designed for GTA V as long as they don’t allow players to gain an unfair advantage in online modes.
Installing mods is always going to be a gamble and it can be easy to forget the risks involved but when given the opportunity to unleash an army of zombies ingame, giving a character fire breathing powers or summoning a pack of dogs, it sure is tempting to take the risk.
Which GTA V mods have you installed? Share in the comments below.