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 Post subject: Sharemods malware
PostPosted: 20 May 2017 12:19 
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Joined: 22 Jun 2014 18:45
Posts: 46
A lot of people are using Sharemods for well sharing their mods, but as of late I keep getting reports from friends that the site is actively distributing malware. I always dismissed that as just bad practice in terms of security on their part, but I actually got a anti-virus freakout of my own today. Something is definitely up with either their ad-system or site in general. It seemingly opens new windows with random IPs and strings containing malicious scripts.

I went and opened one of these urls on a virtual machine just to see what would happen. It appears to be installing some script into the browser which opens small popups and overrides search results. Such scripts can be very malicious and without an active anti-virus program will install themselves onto computers. The takeaway from this is simple, if it is free then you are the product. I have nothing against these sites being used for hosting mods, but the ones offering it for free usually don't care who runs ads on their site. The result is just that, malicious ads installing scripts into browsers. A bit of searching reveals this is not the first time this has happened and it would appear that after each of these reports action was taken by Sharemods to remove the malicious scripts, but it never lasted more than a few months before they reappeared. It is clear that they have no real intend to police their ad content and it seems the emails my friends have sent did not reach anyone(I told to complain, but none of them received an answer).

In my humble opinion as IT professional and webservice provider I do think these links should be removed from the forums and instead a site should be used that actually scrutinizes the ads being shown to users and prevent malware from being distributed. Users of this forum should not be subjected to the potential malware infestation. I understand that a lot of people download fairly large mods thus creating quite a lot of traffic, traffic that is not always cheap to manage for these file hosting sites, but that is no excuse for distributing malware, an already rapidly growing problem for users and companies alike. With the recent WannaCrypt taking hostage of hundreds of thousands of computers this should not be taken lightly.


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 Post subject: Re: Sharemods malware
PostPosted: 20 May 2017 12:41 
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Joined: 05 Jul 2013 11:44
Posts: 6266
Location: Yorkshire
Ad-systems are regularly targetted because they are 3rd party which means they supply the ads for thousands of sites making it easy to spread trojans, viruses and malware.

A good browser and security plug-ins are a must. My browser is locked down so tight I have no issues on sharemods and similar.

I'm not really a fan of those types of sites in general, which is why I stick with Google Drive, but many people only really care about the pennies they get per download.

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 Post subject: Re: Sharemods malware
PostPosted: 20 May 2017 13:14 
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Joined: 18 Feb 2016 09:14
Posts: 65
AdBlock + Tampermonkey is your friend. I know Opera nowadays has inbuilt ad blocker, haven't tried it out yet though.

In these days, you can't really trust any sites I'm afraid. Sharemods is giving quite nice download speeds for me compared to other file sharing sites, so I hope they come to their senses and do something about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Sharemods malware
PostPosted: 20 May 2017 13:16 
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Joined: 17 Jul 2015 03:55
Posts: 1444
Location: 'Straya
Sites that inform you that you are using AdBlock and advise turning it off, are not worthy of your attention.

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 Post subject: Re: Sharemods malware
PostPosted: 20 May 2017 13:18 
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Joined: 22 Jun 2014 18:45
Posts: 46
I would just hate to see this being somehow associated with SCS since it is linked here, on the official forums. This usually ends in uneducated negative PR even though SCS really can't do much about it. I suppose I still advocate that the less traffic these sites get the less they make, hopefully forcing them to evaluate their practices. At the same time you can't protect everyone and babysit them.

One option, if an outright ban of the site is not wanted, could be to provide a disclaimer before leaving the forum urging users to check their security. Some forums have this to not only warn users, but prevent liability for eventual damage through malware.


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 Post subject: Re: Sharemods malware
PostPosted: 20 May 2017 13:23 
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Joined: 27 Oct 2013 08:23
Posts: 5729
That is why I stick with Steam Workshop, free, malware-free, smaller chunks for updates and all...

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 Post subject: Re: Sharemods malware
PostPosted: 20 May 2017 13:52 
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Joined: 18 Feb 2016 09:14
Posts: 65
I don't think people will affiliate SCS's reputation to any filesharing sites modders choose to use, it's pretty common scenario for every game that has widespread modding community. It's common sense nowadays that following any link that leads to external filesharing site is by your own risk, but maybe it's good idea to have some official disclaimer or stickied thread of known sites that spread malware. Ultimately it's up to mod authors to choose their distribution method, but at least they should be acknowledged about sites and services to avoid.

I agree that workshop is the best way to go, but there's always someone complaining about it. As if Steam is somehow worse than shady ad-filled file hosters. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Sharemods malware
PostPosted: 20 May 2017 14:16 
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Joined: 10 Nov 2014 22:01
Posts: 282
Location: Somewhere in the fog, waiting for you :}
Well, I noticed that strange site, even with AdBlock when clicking on Download. I have no advertisements, but that page...

However, still I'm sticking with ShareMods, because my mods becomes very big in size and as I'm not having such a good internet connection, I cannot upload 7-8 GB without waiting a day.
That's why I'm compressing them to 600MB-1GB and uploading them to this site, also because of the nice features like unlimited space (And I really need space ^^) and still fast download speed for players, who want to download a mod.
With the Steam Workshop Uploader it wouldn't be possible...

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 Post subject: Re: Sharemods malware
PostPosted: 20 May 2017 14:19 
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Joined: 27 Oct 2013 08:23
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^^ You know you can compress 9 ZIP files in Steam too right?

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 Post subject: Re: Sharemods malware
PostPosted: 20 May 2017 14:21 
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Joined: 10 Nov 2014 22:01
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Location: Somewhere in the fog, waiting for you :}
No, never heard about that...
Teach me please :D

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