Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft add-ons offer more than just help players step up their game, as they also come with malware that'll steal their data and Bitcoin, according to Symantec.
These tainted applications are disguised as tools that'll boost players' win rate, give them more rewards in the form of gold or arcane dust or anything else along those lines. Needless to say, other players will be at a disadvantage when faced with anyone who uses them. Of course, Blizzard doesn't condone using any software like those.
Gold And Arcane Dust Hacks
Gold and arcane dust are the primary currency to purchase card packs and Adventure Wings and collect more powerful cards to up a player's chances of winning. To earn them, players need to do daily quests, win three matches for 10 gold, disenchant extra cards or wait for the rewards after every season. As everyone can imagine, it's not the most efficient way to get cards.
There's always the option to buy card packs with real money, though, but it can get a bit pricey at times. The Tavern Brawl and Arena are also other ways to get those precious packs and currency, but the former doesn't help that much and the latter comes with some risks.
With the competition in ranked play always heated, many players need to keep up with the ever-changing meta and get as many legendary and staple cards as soon as possible. This pressure to stay on track has caused some users to turn to third-party means for help.
Symantec found Trojan.Coinbitclip in a hacking tool for gold and arcane dust, and as the name suggests, it steals Bitcoin.
"Because Bitcoin addresses are long and include random characters, many users who mine Bitcoins use a clipboard to facilitate the process. Trojan.Coinbitclip hijacks the user's clipboard and replaces the user's Bitcoin address with one from its own list-this is how the malware steals someone's Bitcoin," Symantec says.
As mentioned earlier, players get rewards after every season called Ranked Chests. The higher the player's ranking, the better the rewards, so it's no mystery why users who are looking for a shortcut turn to bots that play automatically for them. To top it off, these applications can also do an Arena run to harvest gold, card packs and more arcane dust.
Some of these tools have malicious software attached to them, and they can considerably damage a computer.
Now, there are some "legitimate" bots out there, but if Blizzard catches a player using one of those, they will definitely be penalized or even banned for life.
Deck trackers could be regarded as a mild form of cheating, but it's still cheating nonetheless, not to mention that Blizzard considers any type of data mining as a violation.
This kind of software allows users to keep tabs on the remaining cards in a deck, and to do so, it collects data from the game. Such add-ons gained popularity when famous streamers started to use them while broadcasting on Twitch.
It didn't take that long for cybercriminals to take advantage of the surge, sneaking in malware in their deck trackers.
Symantec detected Backdoor.Breut that posed as one of these tools with the name Hearthstone Deck Tracker.exe back in December 2015. The security company says that the threat can open a back door, record via the infected computer's webcam, log key strokes and steal passwords.
So how can people steer clear of these malware? They should just keep their computer's software updated and avoid downloading any Hearthstone "helping" tools.
This isn't really big news to honest players, but they'll presumably be delighted to know that bad karma has come to some cheaters.
Photo: Sergey Galyonkin | Flickr