With the recent success of Rockstar Games’ September release of Grand Theft Auto 5, a leaked, and presumably legit GTA V torrent file is infecting hopeful PC users ahead of the still unconfirmed 2014 release date of the PC version of the popular game. After smashing seven world records, generating a Change.org petition which garnered well over 500,000 signatures and generating over $1 billion in sales within 72 hours of release, GTA V stands to be the most popular video game ever, even so much that hackers and spammers are jumping on the bandwagon and infecting PCs across the world with over 18GB of malware using a method commonly known as torrent poisoning.
Many of the users who have downloaded the torrent file have claimed that the file seemed to be legit, but early red flags were raised when the launch of a setup.exe file is required to move through the installation process. Another bold warning has alarmed users a bit later along in the setup process, where these users are required to enter personal information in the form of surveys in order to acquire a .txt file containing a key. This key would supposedly verify the user as having acquired the file through legitimate means and would provide unlocked gameplay once entered. Unfortunately by this point, the PC belonging to the hopeful user which the leaked GTA V torrent file was downloaded to has been infected with almost two and a half times as much data as was included on the original Xbox 360 disc.
While the act of torrenting has been popular for several years, there have been many other scams to which users seeking something for nothing have fallen prey to, which has led the surrounding community to establish an unofficial set of rules to prevent users from being attacked by malicious infections such as this.
Popular methods of debunking fake torrents include verifying the torrent through third party sites, reading comments on the site which the torrent is downloaded from, being wary of large number of seeds with no comments, torrents which include instructions or zip files, and avoiding known and suspected torrent sites which have previously allowed malware-infected content. While following the items on this list can’t necessarily guarantee the torrent is safe, many users in the community will sort through them as a mental checklist prior to clicking the download button.
Furthermore, while there are many legal torrents coming into the scene, there still is a large majority which have not yet been verified as being legal. If you are concerned with whether or not a specific torrent file is legal for download, do make sure to use a tracker which has been verified to host only legal torrent files, as opposed to chancing it and downloading a file which may infringe on another’s intellectual property.
In order to be completely safe in preventing your PC from being infected by malicious torrent poisoning hackers and spammers, skipping the route of GTA V torrent leaks and purchasing the game through legally established methods is your only option, even as a hopeful user waiting in anticipation. Sadly, you might just have to bite your nails in suspense until the official announcement has been made.
Written by Brian Ball