Cyberpunk 2077 free download hoax

One of the most eagerly awaited games of the year, Cyberpunk 2077, is set for release in December 2020. As gamers count down the days, scammers are using the window to cash in. We found several websites supposedly giving away Cyberpunk 2077. Alas, visitors are sure to be disappointed, or worse.

How the Cyberpunk 2077 scam works

The websites we found are all very similar, differing mainly by language and corresponding top-level domain. The URLs contain words such as PC, games, and download in the language of the site.

One of the fake sites in Italian

One of the fake sites in Italian

Website in German, with a large Herunterladen (Download) button

Website in German, with a large Herunterladen (Download) button

If the visitor clicks the button, the site downloads an executable file that appears to be an installer to the computer. Opening it, the user sees a menu with some inactive buttons, creating the illusion that, once installed, the app can be used to run and configure the game.

Fake Cyberpunk 2077 installer

Fake Cyberpunk 2077 installer

Three options are active: Install, Support (this button does nothing) and Exit. Clicking Install opens a window that seems to show the game being downloaded and unpacked.

The fake installer pretends to download Cyberpunk 2077. Just don't read it too carefully

The fake installer pretends to download Cyberpunk 2077. Just don’t read it too carefully

In fact, the program does nothing but sit for a while, emulating installation progress before asking the user for a license key. No key? No problem. They can get one by clicking the Get License Key button.

The installer requests a license key

The installer requests a license key

Clicking the button opens another website that offers the user a chance to take a survey or enter a giveaway to get the key.

Getting a key means having to take a survey. Note the reviews on the right — also fake

Getting a key means having to take a survey. Note the reviews on the right — also fake

The next prompt is a set of unrelated questions, as well as requests for a phone number and e-mail address. That contact information is the likely target of the attack; contact information is useful for spamming.

Example of a survey used by scammers

Example of a survey used by scammers

In any case, in the end, the user is asked for contact information

In any case, in the end, the user is asked for contact information

After receiving all of the answers, the site does provide a key — and it appears to work because it was coded into the fake installer. The game loads, and it looks like fun time may have arrived at last. Well, not quite. The app displays a splash screen but then says it is missing a DLL required to run the game.

Fake Cyberpunk 2077 can't start because a DLL is missing

Fake Cyberpunk 2077 can’t start because a DLL is missing

The frustrated user now has to click on another Download button and again is redirected to a Web page with yet another survey (which is a dead end).

History repeats itself: Loading the DLL means taking another survey

History repeats itself: Loading the DLL means taking another survey

Once again, alas, no pot of gold waits at the end of the rainbow. Patient users will find only a fake installer and a “game” that never gets past the splash screen.

Just wait for the real Cyberpunk 2077

Downloading a nongame, wasting time on pointless surveys, and landing in yet another spam database is bad, although not fatal. But similar schemes can be more dangerous. For example, instead of a survey, the cybercriminals might ask for money in exchange for the key. Or instead of a dummy installer, they might provide malware. This year, we already registered several thousand infection attempts through fake Cyberpunk 2077 downloads.

Ultimately, no matter how much you’re itching to plunge into the long-awaited game with a digitized Keanu Reeves, you’ll have to wait for the official release. For now, to avoid the clutches of scammers:

  • Remember that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. A website offering a free version of one of the most anticipated games of the year before the release date is bound to be fake.
  • Think twice before giving any website personal information or payment details. In cases of sites promising access to a coveted file or key, you’ll be wasting your time — or worse.
  • Use a reliable security solution with a database of fraudulent resources that is updated in real time. It will tell you which sites to steer clear of, and it will protect you from malware. Our products detect the sites mentioned in this post with the verdict HEUR:Hoax.Script.FakeGame.gen, and files downloaded from them as HEUR:Hoax.MSIL.FakeGame.gen.