Blizzard has been battling against the use of bots, cheats, trackers and all other manner of third-party programs for decades now. Hell, I still remember the days of Diablo being infested with cheats and dodgy traders.
Unsurprisingly, there's a suite of applications available that can alter your Hearthstone experience as well. But in a blog post and advisory sent out to media this morning, antivirus makers Symantec has warned players that they might be getting more than they bargained for if they stray down the third-party path.
Symantec's blog post warns that third-party add-ons and cheats for Hearthstone are, unsurprisingly, actually a front for trojans, Bitcoin malware, keyloggers and all other manner of programs designed to compromise your information.
One such trojan is called Trojan.Coinbitclip, which the antivirus maker says is written into some gold and dust-hacking tools. "Because Bitcoin addresses are long and include random characters, many users who mine Bitcoins use a clipboard to facilitate the process," Symantec's Lionel Payet wrote.
"Trojan.Coinbitclip hijacks the user’s clipboard and replaces the user’s Bitcoin address with one from its own list—this is how the malware steals someone’s Bitcoin. The sample we have observed has 10,000 Bitcoin addresses in its body. The Trojan selects an address from the list that most closely resembles the address it is replacing."
Deck tracking add-ons, which are used by some popular streamers on Twitch, have also been compromised. "Cybercriminals have released their own malicious deck tracker add-ons. As Blizzard doesn’t support these tools, they are as susceptible to malware as any other third-party modification in the game."
One threat detected in a deck tracking tool was Backdoor.Breut, a keylogger that is capable of downloading additional files once a computer has been infected. It was first discovered four years ago to the day — allowing for international time zones — but has since resurfaced in "Hearthstone Deck Tracker.exe".
"This threat is capable of opening a back door, recording from the webcam, logging key strokes, and stealing passwords," Payet added.
Even if you roll the dice and manage to avoid having your computer and information stolen, Symantec notes there's always the chance that Blizzard could ban your account. The decision whether to permit third-party apps lies solely with Blizzard, and anyone who takes shortcuts — such as using a bot to play Arena matches for them — always runs the risk of being hit with the banhammer.