Software piracy group MeGaHeRTz spies on users, mines data, IP addresses

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Like it or not, torrents and software piracy are facts of life. However, sometimes those freebies aren’t as appetizing as they seem to be. Occasionally, torrent downloads are laced with malware and other stuff designed to ruin the day for you and your PC. Usually, these incidents appear to be isolated incidents, but a piracy group by the name of MeGaHeRTz have been engaging in similar activities that appear to be relatively large in size and scope.

One user who drank from the MeGaHeRTz downloads pool noticed that something was up with his/her internet activity through their firewall. After downloading a MeGaHeRTz-released version of Malwarebyes Anti-Malware Pro, they noticed that after applying the MeGaHeRTz crack that came with the download, the crack began to send traffic out of the user’s machine. The user found that the information being collected includes user’s IP address. IP addresses are unique identifiers that basically act as your computer’s name on the internet. The information is then sent to three e-mail addresses, whose names include a variant of the MeGaHeRTz name.

More tests were conducted to determine whether this was an isolated incident or a single example of a widespread issue. It turns out that every piece of software put out by MeGaHeRTz behaved the exact same way. The torrent community responded by effectively blacklisting MeGaHeRTz from publishing any more releases, though they could always resurface under a different name.

So, what should you do? If you downloaded any MeGaHeRTz released software, delete it immediately, update your firewall/malware/anti-virus software and run complete scans. Also, avoid software containing the phrase MeGaHeRTz, and let this be a lesson to you: the torrent/file sharing scene can be fraught with pitfalls.

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