'Watch Dogs' Torrent Turns Your PC Into A Bitcoin Mining Machine

Don't feel like paying the Australia Tax for Watch Dogs? That's the excuse people will be using to illegally download the new Ubisoft epic later this week, but pirates beware: you never really know what you're getting in an illegal download. You might just be installing a Bitcoin miner on your computer.

Torrents are popping up online for cracked versions of Watch Dogs' PC version before the official release date tomorrow, but you should exercise a deal of caution before nabbing them.

According to Slashgear, many of the illegal copies include a file buried inside the game's install files called "Winlogin.exe". It disguises itself as a copy of a legitimate process on your machine, and actually turns your PC into a covert Bitcoin miner.

For those unaware of how Bitcoin mining works, it basically uses resources from your computer's GPU to break down complex algorithms. Those who crack the algorithms are rewarded with a block of Bitcoins for their trouble.

The only issue with Bitcoin mining is when you covertly get other people's computers to do it. That's what this hidden process does: it siphons up to 25 per cent of your computer's GPU power to mine Bitcoins, and then sends them off to someone else's bank account.

Someone in Australia had the bright idea to find a highly-powered computer at their workplace and use it to mine Bitcoins too. The problem was that the workplace was the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the computers were used to render programming. Whoops.

You might be getting a cheaper copy of the game, but you're hurting yourself if you choose to do it. [Slashgear]

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    *News Flash*
    Illegal downloads may include (but not limited to):
    -> Viruses
    -> Malware
    -> Spyware
    -> Bitcoin miners
    -> ...

      I remember pirating a copy of Windows 7 and it had pretty much everything on this list.

        Wise to incriminate yourself?

          I haven't needed to pirated anything since steam came out, and humble bundle is also good.

            Happy to say I've never pirated a game.

              Happy to say i have pirated hundreds of games, and as a result have purchased many of them as well.

              If I didn't pirate games as a poor kid, no way would I have grown up to spend hundreds of dollars on games each year as a working adult. Piracy gave me the opportunity to develop a broad pallet, appreciating games across many genres. It's like Bill Gates says, and I paraphrase, I'd rather they pirate windows now and buy it when they can afford it, than use something else instead. Without piracy, I could have ended up playing... *shudder*... sport.

              Last edited 26/05/14 12:46 pm

                Don't worry - with the cost of kids sports these days - people will be pirating that as well!

              I used to pirate them and play them, now, thanks to steam, i buy them and don't play them.

                They worked out the perfect marketing model, I've got some 300 odd games and I've only ever installed half of them...

              Me either.

              I own aMac. No games here

          He isn't incriminating himself. At no point did he list that it was the Official Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System. He just said "Windows 7" that could be anything...

          Secondly, even if it was the official Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, the component you actually pay for is the license key. Read the T&S next time you agree to a software application, most of the time the actual software is free or excluded from the license, and the part you are paying for is the RIGHT to use it.

          It is the same as downloading the Official Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System .exe from Microsoft yourself - you can do that for free at any time, you just cant use it without a valid key

          Finally. Prove it. Just because he has said something doens't mean jack.

          Ah, it's ancient history. I have about three Win 8 licenses now; left 7 behind a long time ago.

            You can say what you want, but you still can't polish sh!t. :-p

      bullshit scare tactics

    People still pirate games because of the Australian tax? It's not the devs fault the local publisher is a prick, so support the dev, import, and send a bigger fuck you to the local publisher than stealing ever could.

      I purchased a Deluxe edition from Green Man Gaming for $45. Cheapest fuck you i've ever purchased :D

        This was mine:

    Is it wrong to download a game if it gets released overseas before it gets released here even if you have it on preorder?. I'm not saying that happens in this case but it annoys the crap out of me when things aren't released at the same time.

    This actually sounds like an idea for an anti-piracy measure. Release a torrent with your own game, but with a bitcoin miner in the code, so whenever someone's playing the pirated game, they're actually making money for the devs. Probably wouldn't make enough money off it though.

      You never know, bit coins are quite expensive and lots of people pirate games, just look at the leechers on TPB, there's over 30000 people downloading it right now, and that doesn't include people who are seeding or people who have already downloaded and decided not to seed. Let alone the people who are downloading it through Usenet or from file hosting sites. That could rake in a lot of cash for developers.

        Some maths time...
        Bitcoin mining now has a difficulty of 10.5 million, which makes it very difficult for an individual to mine, even with top level mining equipment.
        If the miner software embedded in the torrent was able to harness 100KH/s worth of mining from each of these 30,000 clients. That is still only 3 TH/s (terahashes per second) worth of mining.

        Best case scenario: 30,000 users doing 24x7 mining, this will net 1 bitcoin in a week, or roughly $590 dollars at current exchange rate.
        It's just not worth it.

          its money for free how is it not worth it?

            Try paying a bunch of developers for $590 a week.

              well of course your costs are more but this could be used to supplement other income, say you know from people who actually buy the game.

    I downloaded a torrent for Watch_Dogs, Only because it didn't include the crack and none of the digital services allow you to preload. I'm patiently waiting to receive my key and get into the game. Didn't seem to find anything unusual in my files though, guess ill have to wait and see tomorrow.

    The only people who download these affected copies are the ones that do know know the reliable sources on the scenes. There are a few big names that you should always stick to just like in the legitimate software industry.

    I think I'd know if a miner was installed on my system. I've done some mining before, and besides being painfully obvious on the task manager processes it also slows your pc to a crawl.

    Hi there people!
    I must be one of the few people in Oz who has never downloaded a game - hot or not!
    Been too busy trying to learn enough to make a buck out in the Cyberbog .... for years!
    BUT just went thru this demo vid here and two things stood out:
    The guys who can dream up and program these games are astounding!
    AND this Game just might be the one to suck me in after looking at the trailer.
    It seems to offer everything from do-it-alone to online multi various-multiplayer options.
    But I can't even imagine the scenario writing and programming skills needed to do it.

      its not too hard to get an AAA game created. All you need is around 100+ devs/writers/techs/artists etc and sit them down in a dungeon for 2-3 years.
      Its a lot easier to create games these days, as we are essentially standing on the shoulders of giants. All the hard low-level stuff is already done, all that needs to be added is the content.

        you forgot to mention that for every dollar you pay your devs, you pay 100 to market the game

    OK, the next question is as a non-gamer:
    What is the minimum machine needed to just play the game as a single offline user?
    (My Net connection is sooo bad it even times out connecting to my ownRentaServer in the USA.)


    Sad to say im one of those victims, didn't do my researh and the virus was so bad (tried everything, doesn't even disappear when running on safe mode or backdoor) i had to reimage it today :(

    Considering the bitcoin from what ive researched has lost almost all of its actual value i doubt this would be profitable enough to even bother doing

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