Rockstar is selling cracked copies of games on Steam

Cracked Games
By | September 5th, 2023 | Categories: News

Razor 1911 (RZR) is a warez and demogroup with a long and infamous history.

Twitter user @__silent_ has discovered that Midnight Club 2 on Steam has the crack, developed shortly after the game launched, included in the .exe file, presumably to bypass the CD requirements to play the game.

Image credit to @__silent_ on X, formerly known as Twitter

The hex editor shows that the .exe file has been edited with “Razor 1911,” a tagline that warez groups will place in .exe files for attribution purposes, a kind of digital signature.

A cybersecurity analyst described the concern here as being:

What concerns me here is that they either didn’t analyze the binary to understand exactly what is patched in the Razer 1911 copy, or they saw this and left it. I can’t imagine their engineers seeing it and deciding against slapping any different letters over the Razer 1911 just to cover it up.

The ongoing theory is that, since nobody has the existing physical copies anymore, and with Rockstar releasing older games on digital storefronts, instead of spending resources or time to reconfigure the .exe to work without a CD, they have simply repurposed the cracks previously released by the Warez group.

Rockstar has previously been suspected of doing this, the Steam version of Max Payne 2 included a version of the no-cd crack by Myth identified, again, from a combination of file sizing and signatures in Hex Codes

The same phenomenon has been seen in Manhunt, another Rockstar game. While this separate .exe isn’t used to launch the game anymore, it is still included with the Steam download.

With Manhunt, one of the primary issues was they were selling a cracked version of Manhunt, but Rockstar forgot to disable the game’s anti-piracy measures, which activated when the game’s DRM is removed. These measures soft-locked the game, by permanently locking all doors and disabling interactable objects, which became activated by default in the Steam version.

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