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Thread: [PSA] Sonic Fangame "Sonic Gather Battle" contains malware/spyware disguised as DRM

  1. #1
    ModeratorCascade UserBoulder UserSS Veteran
    Xerodragon12's Avatar
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    [PSA] Sonic Fangame "Sonic Gather Battle" contains malware/spyware disguised as DRM


    TL;DR: If you are interested in downloading/playing the Sonic Fangame "Sonic Gather Battle", DON'T! It contains malware/spyware/ransomware disguised as DRM, and may potentially modify your own files on your hard drive! If you already have this game on your computer, the best way to deal with this is to completely reformat your hard drive/perform a factory reset!



    I don't know how many of you guys play Sonic fangames, but I'll slap this up here, in case anyone who hasn't heard about the controversy is interested in playing it:

    The Sonic Fangame, "Sonic Gather Battle" contains DRM that is effectively malware

    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/SonicTheHed...s_a_malicious/

    Apparently the creator of the game is incredibly paranoid about people ripping sprite sheets from their game (despite ripping sprites from official sources, and from other fan artists), so they programmed some really intricate and most likely illegal DRM into the game.

    From what I understand, this is what it does:
    • If you try to run a cheat engine, the DRM will kick in its first stage, turning the backgrounds blue, the tiles black, and implement invincible red ghost enemies.
    • If you go into the registries, and try and fix it, the DRM kicks in its second stage, turning the background and tiles red, and puts in creepy black eyes (probably from the moon in Majora's Mask) and a static screen filter. The Sonic CD creepy boss music plays, and prevents the player from pausing to even exit the game.
    • Uninstalling and reinstalling brings you back to the blue background/red invincible ghost phase of the DRM
    • You can't share/move save data from one machine to another. Doing so will cause the game to activate the first phase of DRM on the second machine
    • Once the game is installed, searching "Sonic Gather Battle", followed by "Hacks", "Cheats", "Mods" or the like will automatically close the web browser and activate the first phase of DRM
    • The only way to remove the DRM and play the game normally is to contact someone else, prove that the DRM activation was a glitch (not through the way of cheat engine/registry editing, etc), and he will talk with the creator, and whitelist your game or something
    • Starting with the December 4th patch, the game now requires Administrator privileges to run
    • There are indications that the game now needs Raw hard disk access
    • Generates b.dll, reads it, then deletes it. It's not known what exactly it does, but it is concerning
    • It loads wininet dll files, which means it has access to the internet
    • It uploads some kind of unique identifier to a server somewhere
    • The game detects if you have some kind of cheat engine installed on your machine, and allows the dev to remotely brick the game/activate the DRM
    • The dev can remotely brick or unbrick copies of the game by moving the unique identifier off of or onto a blacklist/whitelist
    • Unlike some games/experiences that delete/modify their own game files, it's entirely possible that this game modifies/deletes your files on your hard drive


    Sources:
    Source 1
    Source 2
    Source 3


    TL;DR: If you are interested in downloading/playing the Sonic Fangame "Sonic Gather Battle", DON'T! It contains malware/spyware/ransomware disguised as DRM, and may potentially modify your own files on your hard drive! If you already have this game on your computer, the best way to deal with this is to completely reformat your hard drive/perform a factory reset!

    -Insert quote about dragons here-
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  2. #2
    Rainbow UserThunder UserCascade UserBoulder UserSS Veteran
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    imagine being so scared that people are gonna cheat on or mod your sonic fan game that you program intricate defense software that attempts to psychologically scare your user and then track your web habits

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