Piracy & Malware

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ALERT:  Malware called Crackonosh, hidden inside pirated copies of popular online games secretly generates crypto currency for hackers once the game has been downloaded.  According to Avast.com, gamers all around the world have been affected.

Gooseberry Student

Crackonosh is a type of malware which is hidden in pirated versions of popular games such as Grand Theft Auto 5, The Sims 4 or 4 Seasons, Jurassic World Evolution and Pro Evolution Soccer 2018.  It disables anti-virus software and secretly generates crypto currency for the hackers.  It uses your device and electricity to do this.

It can be tempting to download paid-for games for free.  What are the risks? (Downloading games from unofficial sites or from online forums for free can put you at risk of malware which can damage your device and risk your security.)

What is a pirated game?  (a game that has been stolen or copied or distributed without the legal right to do so.  It is against the law of copyright.)

How can you protect yourself from malware in games?  (Only purchase games from official sites or stores, avoid offers of free games which are normally paid for, don’t download game cheats, keep anti-virus software up-to-date but be aware that some malware can disable anti-virus software).

Gooseberry Teacher

It can be tempting for children to download paid-for games for free if they see the opportunity.  It’s important they understand that this is not only illegal and a breach of the law of copyright but it carries the risk of downloading malware.  The Crackonosh malware has been found to have been spread via illegal and stolen copies of popular games which are then offered cheaply or for free.

This particular malware is able to disable anti-virus protection as well as the system updates which address security issues.  It mines crypto currency on the affected device which can slow it down, increase electricity bills and leave users open to security threats.  The best way to reduce the risk is to only purchase games from official sites and stores and to be particularly wary of free to download games.

Gooseberry Parent

Crackonosh malware has infected over 200,000 systems worldwide.  It is a cryto-mining malware that is hidden in pirated versions of popular online games.  Children can be tempted by the offer of cheap or free games that otherwise need to be paid for.  But children or parents may end up affected by identity theft or other frauds and increased electricity bills.

Take the time to talk to children about both the risks and the rights and wrongs of downloading illegal content and encourage them only to purchase games from official sites and stores.

Other Resources

For Gooseberry Schools, you will find lesson plans that address some of the issues relating to passwords and security and accompanying parent advice sheets in:

Playground:   Scenario 6:  Sharing Online, Scenario 10:  Searching

Street:            Scenario 10:  Phishing

Village:           Scenario 7:  Illegal Downloads

Town:             Scenario 2:  Junk Email, Scenario 8 Clickjacking

City:                Scenario 6:  Streaming, Downloading & Uploading

Want to know more?  Visit us at www.gooseberryplanet.com

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