Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Cities: Skylines Mods Could Make Players Vulnerable to Hacking

Files and Mods
13 February 2022, 21:20

author: Adrian Werner

The Cities: Skylines fan community has discovered that mods created by certain user contain dangerous elements that could enable the creator to install virtually any programs on the user’s computer.

Mods are one of the coolest things about playing on PC, but unfortunately they can also sometimes cause serious problems. The latest example of these are dangerous mods for Cities: Skylinescontaining code that could enable the creator to install any programs on players’ computers, including trojans, keyloggers and crypto mining tools.

Confirmed dangerous mods include:

  1. Network extensions 3,
  2. Harmony (redesigned).

How to protect yourself if you play Cities: Skylines with mods

The creator of the mods used handles chaos other Holy Water. So if you have a subscription to any of his mods in Steam Workshop, we advise you to disable it. Fans have prepared a simple “No Chaos” script in this servicewhich will do it for you automatically:

  1. No Chaos in Steam Workshop

How to avoid problems with saves

There is one problem, however. Uninstalling these mods can mess up your saves (eg roads will disappear from the map). Fortunately, there is a way to avoid this:

1. In Steam Workshop, unsubscribe from all versions of Network Extensions (including those by creators other than Chaos / Holy Water).

2. Subscribe to and enable the following three items from the Steam Workshop:

  1. RON, the network replacer,
  2. Network Extensions 2 Roads Replacement,
  3. Zoning adjusters.

As replacements and fixes necessary after discarding dangerous mods, also subscribe and activate:

  1. harmony – the original version of the mod, without the dangerous elements that were added in Harmony (redesigned),
  2. Traffic Manager: President Edition,
  3. Loading screen mod.

Why are the mods from Chaos / Holy Water dangerous?

Chaos started by releasing Harmony (redesigned). This is a reworked edition of the harmony package, which is the basis for mods to many games. Then released remakes of other popular mods, which required Harmony (redesigned) and not the original harmony to work.

The whole problem is that Harmony (redesigned) contained an update system that, when the game was run in administrator mode, enabled Chaos to install virtually any program on the player’s computer.

Furthermore, Harmony (redesigned) was designed to make access to its modifications difficult for people with specific Steam IDs belonging to other modders, known members of the Cities: Skylines community, and employees of the studio responsible for the game, Colossal Order.

Valve has banned the creator of dangerous mods

Chaos had already been banned by Valve for “doxing” (revealing the identity of an Internet user using only a pseudonym) a member of the Cities: Skylines community. However, he returned under the nickname Holy Water. Now this account has also been banned by the administrators of Steam, along with some but not all of the modifications assigned to it.

Cities: Skylines community, however, fears that the creator may return once again, under a different alias.

  1. Cities: Skylines Review – Farewell SimCity
  2. Cities: Skylines – game guide

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