It’s not at all surprising that downloading movies and software from the torrent network could infect your computer with malware, but it’s more heartbreaking when a popular, trusted file uploader goes rogue.
Popular software cracks/keygens uploader “CracksNow,” who had trusted status from many torrent sites, has now been banned from several torrent sites after he was repeatedly found distributing the malware bundled with his uploads.
In recent months, according to TorrentFreak, many downloaders complained that the files they downloaded, shared by CracksNow on torrents, found containing GandCrab ransomware and other malware that can do severe damage to computers.
Discovered earlier last year, GandCrab is a widespread ransomware threat, like every other ransomware in the market, that encrypts all files on an infected system and blackmails victims to pay a ransom in digital currency to unlock them.
GandCrab ransomware was being distributed late last month via a massive spam campaign that leveraged phishing emails, containing an attached malicious Microsoft Word document to deliver the malware.
The Pirate Bay, TorrentGalaxy, and 1337x are among the popular torrent websites that banned the account of CracksNow.
“He was banned by myself because I found ransomware in his uploads. I also checked the same uploads from him on a couple other torrent sites and got the same results. I immediately alerted their staff about it so they could investigate and take appropriate action, which they did,” the 1337x admin told TF.
“I must admit that it is rare for a trusted uploader of this caliber to go rogue. It’s normally new guys that have the infected files. CracksNow was a trusted uploader and had been warned in the past but only for misdemeanors. To the best of our knowledge, the remaining torrents are ransomware free, but his account is due for removal.”
Some torrent sites have employed a team to confirm and verify most uploaded files, but when Google itself cannot detect malware within every mobile app uploaded to its Play Store, then how torrent sites are supposed to assure the same with any level of efforts.
Since cracks, patches, and key generators more often include malware, The Hacker News advises users to most certainly avoid downloading software (executable) files from torrent sites and instead, rely on only trusted sources.