Players of the insanely popular Hearthstone video game by Blizzard Entertainment are being targeted by cyber attackers. Well, specifically players who are looking for online tools to cheat in the game. Here are the details.
Hearthstone is a free-to-play online card game based on the World of Warcraft universe. For the uninitiated, it is like a watered down version of the tabletop card game Magic: The Gathering. The online game currently has over 40 million registered players worldwide.
As with many competitive online games, there will always be those who are tempted to employ dodgy means to cheat and win in Hearthstone. According to researchers at security vendor Symantec, attackers are taking advantage of gullible players by disguising malware as third-party add-on programs that will assist players in winning at Hearthstone.
"If a player installs them, then attackers may be able to open a back door on their computer, and steal sensitive information and Bitcoins," Symantec said in a blog post.
One of the malware in question is Trojan.Coinbitclip, which has been posing as a Hearthstone hacking tool. It ends up hijacking the user's clipboard and replaces the user's Bitcoin address with one from its own list to steal Bitcoins. Another application that has been compromising users' computers is the Hearthstone Hack Tool v2.1.
Some players have been known to buy bot software which automatically helps them play more difficult modes of Hearthstone in order to earn more rewards. Symantec warns that even bot software may be compromised with malware.
If you're a Hearthstone player (hello, my brethren), the best way to protect yourself is to… oh, I don't know… not cheat? If you're cheating and you get a malware by downloading hacking tools, nobody will feel sorry for you. Even if you're lucky enough to avoid getting a virus, you would get banned once you're discovered by Blizzard anyway.
So folks, don't bloody cheat.
You can read more about the Hearthstone malware situation over at Symantec's security blog.