Banned Cities: Skylines Mods Malware cover

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Most Banned Cities: Skylines Mods Did Not Have Malware, Dev Says

February 14, 2022

By: Robert N. Adams

 
 
More Info About This Game
Developer
Colossal Order
Release Date
March 10,2015 (Calendar)

Colossal Order has put out a statement addressing a number of recently banned Cities: Skylines mods that were recently removed from the Steam Workshop.

Cities: Skylines is one of the better city-building games out on the market today. It's been out for four years and counting and has a VR spinoff on the way. A big part of the game's appeal is the ease of making and integrating mods; developer Colossal Order even distributes a handful of this community-created content as official DLC every now and again.

 

Unfortunately, things took a dark turn recently -- it was alleged that a handful of mods contained malware. The game's developers have now put out a statement clarifying the situation and assuring gamers that there was no real risk to them.

Banned Cities: Skylines Mods Malware slice

 
 

What We Learned About the Banned Cities: Skylines Mods and Malware Risks

Malware concerns over a number of banned Cities: Skylines mods were addressed in a statement from developer Colossal Order. Fortunately, it looks like these worries were a bit overblown.

Let's backtrack a bit. On Friday, it was alleged that a hidden updater exposed as many as 35,000 users to malicious code through a mod in Cities: Skylines. This mod was created by a modder named "Chaos" who had allegedly forked another mod and took steps to hamstring the competition through malicious code. This led to concerns over malware or remote code exploits. Colossal Order, however, has investigated the situation and found that the issue has been a bit overblown.

 
 

"We recently banned a few mods from the Cities: Skylines Workshop and want to clear up some of the misinformation surrounding these mods," read a statement from the developers (via Reddit). "The mods in question, which have been banned, are 'Network Extensions 3' and 'Update from Github.'"

"No keyloggers, viruses, bitcoin mining software, or similar has been found in mods on the Steam Workshop."

The only real potential risk was the mod "Update from Github" which allowed mods to be updated directly from Github, circumventing the Steam Workshop entirely. This could have been used to install malware, but no evidence has been found of this happening. Colossal Order had the mod removed proactively to prevent anything bad from happening. Less than 50 users were affected according to the devs.

While concerns over malware in mods is understandable, it looks like the threat from this particular instance was overblown. Colossal Order advises players to report any concerning mods, reuploads of banned mods, or mods that use similar code to existing mods via their respective Steam Workshop pages.

 
 

A few bad apples in such a massive modding community is inevitable, but Colossal Order seems to have made the right move in dealing with them. There's far, far more excellent mod content to enjoy in this game -- you can buy Cities: Skylines for PC and consoles starting at $29.99 or your regional equivalent.

Were you concerned about malware in the banned Cities: Skylines mods? What's your favorite mod for this game? Let us know in the comments below!