Hard drive wiping Malware found inside infected Minecraft skins

'Close to 50,000 Minecraft accounts infected with malware'

Hard drive wiping Malware found inside infected Minecraft skins

Hard drive wiping Malware found inside infected Minecraft skins

Minecraft is easily one of the world's most popular games, having released on every major gaming platform of both this generation and the last, spanning from mobile platforms all the way to PC. In January Minecraft reportedly had almost 75 million players monthly, with 43% of users being between the age of 15 and 21. 

Avast, a provider of Anti-Virus software, has discovered that modified Minecraft skins can be used to hide hard drive reformatting malware, with the company stating that they have blocked over 14,500 infection attempts over the past ten days. 

On the PC version of Minecraft, players can create custom skins for their characters, which are uploadable to Minecraft servers to be used by the uploader or by other players. Bad actors have been able to use Minecraft Skin PNG files as a distribution vehicle for malware; worst still is the fact that these files can be legitimately uploaded and distributed to unknowing users on the Minecraft website.   

Below are a few examples of infected skins, which when downloaded can see players receive messages in their account inbox like “You Are Nailed, Buy A New Computer This Is A Piece Of Sh*t”, “You have maxed your internet usage for a lifetime” and “Your a** got glued”. Other evidence of infection can be found with general system slowdown or error messages that are related to disk formatting. 

Avast recommends that Minecraft players on PC immediately scan their machines with a strong antivirus that can detect and remove infected files and that in some cases users may need to uninstall and reinstall Minecraft. In extreme cases, players with infected systems may need to restore their PCs. 

Hard drive wiping Malware found inside infected Minecraft skins

Minecraft is often considered as a game about creativity and the construction of vast structures both offline or with friends online. It I sad to see that some individuals have decided to target such a peaceful game, especially given the game's younger demographics. 

Given Minecraft's continued popularity, it is possible that this malware could affect thousands of users, though Mojang (the creators of Minecraft) is said to be working to address the vulnerability. 

More information about Minecraft's infected skins can be found on Avast's blog post on the topic.   

You can join the discussion on Minecraft skins being infected with hard drive wiping malware on the OC3D Forums

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