Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

March 24, 2010 -

Illegal downloaders of a recently released Japanese erotic game are running into malware that gathers their personal information and uploads it to a website.

A pirated version of the game Cross Days is causing the mayhem, according to a story on Torrent Freak. Those downloading a certain illegal version of the game run a program that appears to be an installer, but turns out to be a Trojan, which grabs the user’s IP address. The virus then presents some kind of survey, which further mines more personal information from the user. All the data, along with a screenshot of the pirate’s desktop, is then uploaded to a website.

Those who had their information uploaded can have it removed from the site it has been posted to, states the site Japanator, but users must admit that they tried to steal the game (by clicking a button).

In a further twist of the knife for the infected, Terms of Service for the Trojan-laden installer reportedly lays out the course of events to come for those who double click it, but of course hardly anyone bothers to read such things.

This blog has a sampling of uploaded desktop pictures caused by the Trojan.


Comments

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

It's a two edged sword to me really, suppose it depends if it's a manufacturer-made torrent that the devs have slipped online, or whether it's been done by a third party.

Partly, I'll agree, it's hilarious, but I'm not 100% happy with the idea of a company thinking it is ethical to do something like this, even to people who steal their stuff. It's kind of a hazy line, where does the point exist where 'professional ethics' meets 'illegal downloading'. I can understand the urge to do it, and the argument that 'if they knowingly download it illegally, they've already taken the piss' is a strong one, but still, it just reminds me a little too much of a slippery slope.

Of course, if it was done by a third party, it's just plain hilarious ;)

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

I think I would rather just not downlaod anything that would consider me to be a crminal by doing it. So many people nowadays do so much crap to downloadable content.

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Some people will go to great lengths to justify their illegal copying of content (they're even lying to themselves). Just admit that you don't want to pay for the content and as such will copy it instead.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

This is very true.  When Batman: Arkham Asylum came out, people had pirated it pre-release, and were angry to find out that it was broken.  You would get stuck in certain places with no way to get out.  However, one person said he pirated it because there wasn't a demo for it.

Hilarious, since he posted that post in a thread on GameFAQs discussing the demo.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Yep.  It's the same kind of people who, when they're being ferried to Hell, shout, "Tell me!  What did I do to deserve this!?"...

(Excuse the Hell Girl reference.)

Rationalizing can be a dangerous self-defense mechanism sometimes.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

That's actually pretty clever. Instead of raising a hissy fit about having your products distributed for free and hurting your paying customers at the same time, just give viruses to those who downloaded illegally.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

You guys realize that what these guys did is a criminal act right. And far worse than downloading the file I might add. Even with the warning at the EUA

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

What exactly is criminal about the act?  This isn't a virus that spreads from machine to machine.  It's not adding computers to a botnet.  It collects personal information and uploads it to a website.  Which is a potential breach of privacy issue.  Except that it says it's going to do that.

Most likely the only thing legal this action violates is the EULA for the original software, which probably includes provisions against modifying the software.

Also, Zippy wins for best typos commenting on a story about people illegally downloading a (at least somewhat) porn game - "maleware" and "piratically"

===============

Chris Kimberley

===============

Chris Kimberley

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Even if it says that it is going to do that that is a misleading action and the information posted online could be used maliciously.

You basicaly answered the question yourself. This is an act of viglantism that poses privacy issues. I am not familiar with the laws in Japan but I know for sure they taken personal privacy very seriously. hence my quote that two wrongs don't make a right.

It's wrong to steal programs and it is wrong to mislead indivduals post personal information online jeopardizing the person's privacy.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

When Google is prosecuted for doing the exact same thing WITHOUT informing you first, then we'll talk about "two wrongs don't make a right."

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Ya bu they gather data 3rd person and it tends to lack hard data, just general stuff used for statistical references.Malware tends to dig deeper....this digs deeper....


And even if you had the data of the downlanders I doubt you'll want to face the bad press or lawyer fees taking them to court.


So I'll say it again when you waste time on chasing ghost and straw men(IE the supposed damage done) you waste time and money.


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

You don't use Chrome or Gmail, do you?  If you did, your first sentence, and thus your whole argument, would be moot.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

So they have my SScard number and Ccard numbers and name and adress? I don;t think so :P


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Actually, they do for beta testers.

Also, since the story doesn't seem to say they have SS numbers or CC numbers, you're making more strawman arguments.  They took his IP address, and other basic info, stuff that's floating around the internet already, just by using google search.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

There are a great many companies that collect personal information about people (name, phone numbers, addresses, etc) and sell databases of it to other companies.  It's not illegal so long as you are informed about what information is being collected and how it will be used.  The fact that it's accessible for free doesn't make it illegal.  It's not moral, but I don't think selling personal information is either.

As for being misleading it's just as clearly spelled out in this case as in others.  Read the fine print and you'll be OK.  If you don't pay attention enough and agree to things without reading them it's only your own fault when you get burned.  You wouldn't sign a contract without reading it would you?

===============

Chris Kimberley

===============

Chris Kimberley

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

It is deception plain and simple. You are asking somebody to summit personal information that ia not the argument here, the argument here is that the information is posted on a public domain and even if these people "agreed" to have this done you have collected their information by using deception (the so called survey). Even if you disagree with the actions of those people it doesn't entitle you to post personal information online to humiliate them soecualy by collecting this information illegaly.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

They had to agree to have it posted before they were given the survey, which they wouldn't have even been presented with had they not violated the law.  Since they had the users permission, it isn't illegal in the least.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

depends really, given countries laws may be dif.

i'm not lawmaer in japan so tbh i wouldn't know.

but tbh anyone dumb enough to actually fill out that info, miss the obvious in the EULA, and install a pirated game without scanning and while being online, deserves every bit of it.

well.. tbh, they deserve it outright anyways.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Haha, this is what they got for stealing a game instead of jusy buying it like any other person would do.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

This is kind of funny.

Normally, I absolutely HATE malware of any type, but this particular case is an exception. The fact that it actually says exactly what it's going to do in the ToS is particularly amusing.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

roflmao, that is just pure gold :)

now THAT is DRM !

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Hardcore, I especially like the way people have to own up to what they did to have it reversed. Another blow to pirates' self-delusion.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

This just sounds a lot like "don't pay us of 15 dollars and risk everything you have"

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Ummm...  Cross Days is 9,975 yen (~$110 US) and it's the third in the series (after School Days and Summer Days, which were 9,975 yen and 8,925 yen / ~$100 US, respectively) - a far cry from the figure you obviously made up.

The anime adaptation of School Days was fairly good aside from some glaring problems with direction / subtlety and the occasional tasteless gag; it's otherwise quite serious and raises some important issues about the lack of parental involvement in the lives of their kids.  The show is easily rated 17+ and can be streamed for free in English (legally, I might add) at Crunchyroll.com.  Just be prepared to start hating many of the characters since their actions are completely detestable.

I haven't played the original game, or any others in the series, so I can't comment on the source material beyond them being interactive anime with very adult themes and their potentially disastrous in-game consequences.  There's an English translation project under way, though, so I'll be checking it out in due time.

Back on-topic: this sounds to me like someone is pissed that they were caught on camera with their hands in the cookie jar when there was a notice beside the door saying saying, "This room is under surveillance".

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Well, apologies for getting the price wrong on a piece of media  never even heard of until today. Anyway, I'm fairly certain al lthis did was let hackers know it's there and fidn ways to make it safe.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

According to the articles that first reported on this story:

The original Cross Days installer was mistakenly being recognized as a virus.  Some of 0verflow's fans took note of this fact and decided to show their support for the company in a previously unheard-of fashion - by replacing the supposed virus with a real one.  Anyone who pirated the game wouldn't have been the wiser until it was too late.  The developers themselves had nothing to do with it, but I'd bet they wouldn't disapprove of their real fans taking a stand against the poseurs and forcing them to reveal their identities.

Nothing personal, but it doesn't hurt to take five minutes or so to find out what's really going on before commenting on the story.  We can't ridicule Fox News for failing to do the research, yet brush the issue aside when we fail to do the same.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Can you link the article you got that from, please?  I read the link in the GP article, and I didn't read that anywhere, other than a particular anitvirus program dinged a false positive with the real .exe.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

I was referring to this blog entry, which was linked to in the original GP story.  Given the series of references in each of the English articles (Japanator links to the blog page, Torrent Freaks links to both the blog and Japanator, and the blog links to itself), I think it's safe to assume that this is how English speakers learned of the Cross Days situation.  What I stated before is basically my understanding of the situation based on the three webpages.  I'm no expert at Japanese, so please excuse me if my summary was somewhat off the mark; I should note that it's my interpretation of what was said and not a verbatim translation (I did say "I'd bet" to note that part of it wasn't pure fact).

That said, I'm intrigued by the concept of digital vigilantism.  Like it's real-life equivalent, it falls into the gray area of the legal and ethical spectrums, so it's a given that it'll have its detractors.  An official statement from the author of the virus or the game's developers would be an interesting read, to say the least.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Except if you legitimately pay you don't get maleware. 

 

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

If the terms of service accurately lay out what's going to happen then this is a "buyer" beware kind of situation.  I'm not so sure it's illegal to say to someone "I'm going to send a screenshot of your desktop to a website, that OK?"  And then do it when they say yes.

It doesn't sound like this will spread itself around or hijack your computer to send spam or anything like that.  It just embarrases you.  I say good for them.

===============

Chris Kimberley

===============

Chris Kimberley

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

I wonder if the people who made the trojan understand that... ahem, infecting people's PC's with malware isn't exactly a kosher thing to do...

Not that I'm supporting file sharing (That graphical explanation is awesome... =), but do we really need another piece of malware floating around?  Particularly when the code can (and probably already has been) taken and malformed in to something new and significantly more problematic?

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Pretty sure this kind of malware is illegal. Way to go combat law breakers by breaking the law.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Well, to make a claim against the company of illegal activity, you have to admit to illegal activity in the first place, so maybe people will think twice about committing piracy?

Nah, who am I kidding?

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Still don't see where you've got this idea the company who made the game are responsible for the malware.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

A valid assumption on my part, seeing as how, according to the GP post, it's specifically targeted at people who illegally procure a copy of the game.  If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but in that case, kudo's to whomever is responsible, so long as it stays targeted to those who illegally procure the game.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

"A valid assumption on my part"

Pretty funny coming from someone who routinely tries to shout down other peoples assumptions as "invalid".

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Funny, since I haven't attacked your assumption that this is just "vigilante" actions by a third party...

Dick.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Saying something "seems like" is not an assumption.

As you've been told by others before, the more you try and be a smartass the further you go towards cementing yourself as a dumbass.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Er...your words from above, DS:

"This is more like vigilante action by a third party."

No "seems" there, it seems.

And I think you have jedi confused with another well-known poster on this site, as far as the whole shouting down thing goes, at least from what I've been seeing these days.

"De minimus non curat lex"

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

No, it's cool.  DS and I have a way of getting under eachother's skin sometimes.  Thanks for the backup, though.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Err.... hacking/virus making is wrong period and they should be fined for it.

 

How about focus on consumers more instead of one legged boogieman, oh thats right keeping consumers interested in your products is hard.... going after ghosts and stawmen is easier.......


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Christ you're stupid. "Ghosts and strawmen" imply things that don't exist. The people downloading free versions of this game very actually exist, and some of them are very actually being affected by this. If they were ghosts, nobody would be being affected by the malware.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

DS

Think deeper young grasshopper, I am looking at the monetary damage done, which is the main reason everyone whines. Ooo how I would like to give them all... A BOOT TO THE HEAD.....pirates(making money illegally) BOOT TO THE HEAD.... corporate suits....BOOT TO THE HEAD.... drooling copy right defenders.... BOOT TO THE HEAD!!!! la lala la la la lalalala lala lala lala lala


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

If you are stealing the game, you are hardly a consumer. 

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Which is why most arguments for piracy or for less stringent anti-piracy methods fail, with the exception of anti-DRM arguments.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

please explain.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Like Zippy just proved, a lot of the arguments against activities meant to put a hamper on piracy involve the "consumer."  Nintendo not wanting the R4 to be sold because of it's use in piracy?  That somehow affects the "consumer."  Nintendo releasing firmware updates for the Wii to screw up homebrew?  Again, affects the "consumer."  Zoning restrictions on Blu-Ray/DVD/CD players?  Yep, the "consumer" is somehow adversely affected.

As someone who has purchased all of the above, I have not once been affected in any way by these, yet, according to pirates, or people who defend them, I actually have, and don't even know it.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Some of us do actually like to run genuine homebrew, but not a majority by any means. While I'd like an official way to support such software, there's no denying that an open system leads to illegal copying.

The zoning restrictions on Blu-rays and DVDs are not about piracy though. They're about controlling regional rights as a way of making more money. It's not much of an issue in the US since it's a big enough market to warrant most releases, but other parts of the world aren't so lucky. Many discs are never released in certain zones. I'm personally affected quite a lot by that one as there's various Blu-rays I'd love to own that are out in Region A, but have not and probably will never be released where I live in Region B (I'm in New Zealand). Even the government here considers region locking mechanisms such as this "anti-consumer" and in NZ law we have the right to break zoning restrictions specifically for this reason. Illegal copying is of course a different story.

Re: Pirates Pay for Download with Upload of Personal Info

Again, I'm not saying that I personally have a problem with any of that, only that these arguments being "anti-consumer" are often used to somehow try to make attempts to undermine piracy evil in some way.

By your own admission, region locking is technically illegal in NZ, so there can be no way for an equipment manufacturer to undermine someone who mods a machine for the sole purpose of getting around region locking.  However, a modded PS2 used to play pirated games doesn't qualify for such protection.  Also, by your own admission, Region 1 releases are so prevalent that such protection would probably never see the light of day in the US.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.
 
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