Mining malware will rob your PC of GPU and CPU cycles to give someone virtual filthy lucre.
Downloading pirated software has its share of risks. Bundled between the gamefiles and cracks are usually nasty surprises that sneak past most virus scanners, since many users are instructed to turn their antivirus software off in order to reduce the chance of it picking up the serial key generator as a false positive of a bona fide virus.
The torrent of Ubisoft’s hotly-anticipated Watch Dogs distributed by the warez group SKIDROW is no exception to this rule. Reportedly the pirated version of the game contains a hidden Bitcoin miner, that will stealthily steal your CPU and GPU cycles to mine Bitcoins. Now the actual net revenue from each PC will be marginal — since at current difficulty levels Bitcoin mining is not profitable with GPGPU compute — but distributed across tens of thousands of machines, the proprietor of this distributed malware mining network might see a healthy return.
Some users report up to 25 percent of their system resources being taken up by a process called “winlogin.exe” (not to be confused with the legitimate “winlogon.exe”) and “itc.exe” which is the Bitcoin mining program.
For the rest of us, Watch Dogs comes out on May 27 for the PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.