Grand Theft Auto Worm Hagbard.A Offers Hot Water, Not Hot Coffee

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Security experts are reporting that a new worm called Hagbard.A is posing as a pirated version of the popular and now scandal-plagued game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Riding the wave of publicity which Rockstar Game’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has received in the past weeks due to the release of a hack (“mod”) known as the “Hot Coffee” mod, which allows access to x-rated scenes in the game (and over which Rockstar Games has now been sued), Hagbard.A has insinuated itself into peer-to-peer networks, where it lays disguised as a pirated copy of GTA:SA. It also disguises itself as other popular games, including “Need for Speed Underground 2”.

What’s even more insidious about the Hagbard.A worm is that it doesn’t just do the normal wormly things like scraping your addresses and sending itself out to more people via instant messenger (although it does do that, using primarily Windows Messenger and claiming “please download this…its only small brb.”) It also installs a form of a web server on its host computer, allowing someone (presumably the author or the distributor) access to the host computer. Nasty!

Explained Art Gilliland, of IMLogic, “This one has an interesting behavior. It downloads a Web server to give someone remote access, which is more malicious than the spyware or adware that gets downloaded onto systems from other IM worms.”

On an interesting, although not unexpected sidenote, reports are that the voluntary recall by some large chain stores of Grand Theft Auto: San Andrea isn’t the only reason for the game’s scarcity right now. Stores local to Aunty which did not pull the game are reporting that the game is flying off the shelf faster than they can stock it ever since the “Hot Coffee” story broke. Not surprising really, leading one to wonder whether Rockstar Games actually orchestrated the entire “scandal”. No question that the press has been phenomenal.

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