Technology company Symantec has released new research overnight to warn Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft players against using third-party tools with the game. These tools range from outright cheating applications to bots and deck-trackers. In particular, Hearthstone Hack Tool v2.1 was named as a “total scam” in its promises to give players more gold and dust. However, Symantec warned that the program carried malware which steals users’ Bitcoin.
Another named application named Hearthbuddy can compromise the user’s computer. The program is a bot which can play the Arena Mode in Hearthstone, earning rewards and even respond to emotes. Upon installation, the program can compromise a user’s PC.
Third-party Hearthstone tools which are not strictly built for the purposes of cheating were also named as susceptible to malware. Third-party deck-tracking programs can help users to identify which cards in their deck remain to be drawn, as well as other useful information. Their use by high-profile streamers has seen a boost in usage amongst other players. Symantec warns that some of these programs can contain malicious add-ons capable of opening a back door to a PC, logging keystrokes, and stealing passwords. Because Blizzard doesn’t officially support these applications, they are vulnerable to malware.
Blizzard recently announced that Hearthstone had hit the 40 million player milestone across mobile and PC. The game will be getting some major changes this spring, which aim to keep it “fresh, exciting, and accessible.” Hearthstone was well-received in GameSpot’s review, earning an eight out of ten for its quick but satisfying gameplay, and its balance between accessibility and strategic depth.