Don't visit Team ARG's website, or scan the QR code in their games

It has come to light that Team ARG’s website may have come into the ownership of malicious actors.

Consequently, I am recommending that people do not visit their website through any means, which includes scanning the QR code that they embedded into a currently unknown (but probably significant) number of their games.

It is currently unclear how serious this issue may be, but I am treating it as serious until proven otherwise.

If you have the means to do so, please inform others of the situation so they are aware.

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Arduventure - 12th TEAM a.r.g. game
Virus LQP-79 - eighth TEAM a.r.g. game
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Mystic Balloon - 9th TEAM a.r.g. game (39 levels)
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Trolly Fish - Sixth TEAM a.r.g. game
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Christmas - 11th demo by TEAM a.r.g
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Fantasy Rampage - 11th TEAM a.r.g. game
HotButter - 12th demo by TEAM a.r.g
Bricked help needed [Solved-ish]
Shadow Runner - First conversion of a TEAM a.r.g. game
demoScene - The first demo WITH 4 channel tracker music
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Epic Crates of Mass Destruction - Fifth TEAM a.r.g. game
Begemmed - Fourth TEAM a.r.g. game
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drawSprite - a demo showing one function doing an animation
Filesheet Scrolling - a demo showing a scrolling background
Waving Images - A demo showing bitmaps waving like a flag
Rotating Clock - A demo showing a clock rotating around its Y-axis
VeCToR Letters - An other small demo showing vector letters
SiNe DeMo - A small demo showing sine calculation
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Reverse Mermaid Hockey - Third TEAM a.r.g. game
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First IMAGE - a very small demo for people to show their first image
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[WIP] CastleBoy - Castlevania demake!

So far, 24 25 of Team ARG’s games are confirmed to contain a QR code which presumably links back to their site:

  • Outpost Defence
  • Fantasy Rampage
  • Helmets and Hordes
  • Tanked
  • Pinball
  • Pico Racers
  • Sirene
  • Rayne the Rogue
  • VIRUS LQP-79
  • Block Hop
  • Dice of Fate
  • Trolly Fish
  • Mystic Balloon
  • Epic Crates of Mass Destruction
    • Also known as ECOMD
  • Reverse Mermaid Hockey
  • Begemmed
  • Star Flight
  • Yum Yum
  • Dungeons 2
  • Escaper Droid
  • Elventure
  • Shadow Runner
  • Bubble Pop
  • Micro Card
  • Blob Attack
1 Like

The site redirect to random badware sites.

I use firefox with uBlock Origin and catches the badware redirect. (strangely chrome version didn’t)

I recommend to copy and paste the site below:

http://www.team-arg.org/

and Report it as badware at Google’s safebrowsing page.

3 Likes

REPORTED! Thanks for warning me! :hugs:

“CRITICAL ALERT FROM MICROSOFT” - riiight.

The Team A.R.G. link which ends with “com” now also leads to some strange website… Yeah, it would definitely be a good idea to replace/warn about those links in as many places as possible.

@bateske @Pharap You could try to purge the Arduboy forum of all these old Team A.R.G. links as well. They are present, for instance in Team A.R.G. topics.

Some more tips about dealing with such URLs: exploit - Where to report malicious URLs, phishing, and malicious web sites? - Information Security Stack Exchange

2 Likes

Fixed, thanks.

2 Likes

Just over 3 months later and this is precisely what I’ve just finished doing.
6 years worth of ‘team-arg’ links removed or replaced manually by your (least?) favourite skeleton.
(An hour of my life and an ounce of my ever-dwindling sanity I’ll never get back. :P)

(I feel like there probably would have been a better way through direct manipulation of the forum database, but I don’t have access to that and my SQL is rusty anyway.)

If anyone sees any I’ve missed, just flag it up and one of us moderators should handle it as soon as we’re available to do so.

(Apologies to anyone who gets a notification about their posts being edited, but it had to be done.)

11 Likes

Thank you sir! Your efforts are appreciated, mostly by those who come in the future and have no knowledge of what you have done.

3 Likes

Was having a read of this thread. I noticed the site was down too upon visiting using the QR code when I tried one of their games. Though it takes me to some redirect URL that shows me aparently some BBC news, rather than some malicious calendar entries.

I just popped in to point out that Blinky above mentions their site which is the same as the one the QR code took me, not sure if you’d want to remove that as well?

The unfortunate part about htis is that the FX is being sold with these games and so potentially malicious QR codes pre-programed onto it. I’m still new to the system so not sure if this is a thing, but are firmware updates an optioin for the FX? Would it be possible to patch out the QR codes from those specific games and also make sure they aren’t there in future units?

Easier said than done when you consider how many games they made and how many copies are floating around out there.

At best we could get it taken out of the museum copies and the versions uploaded to the forum, but that’s still a lot of work to do, especially when it’s likely that the task would fall to a very small number of people.

It’s not the firmware, it’s just the data on the flash chip.
Overwriting that data is precisely how people load new batches of games onto the chip.

The problem is that the data is already on the chips and most have probably already been shipped off to retailers so they can’t be easily recalled or corrected.

Games already being on the chips when people buy them was supposed to be one of the selling points, so trying to get people to redownload a batch of games before playing them isn’t going to look very good, and it’s probably a losing battle anyway.

It would be possible assuming there are units that haven’t been shipped out yet, but once again it’s a fair bit of effort and that’s only part of the battle.

At the moment our best weapon is probably word of mouth really.

1 Like

Sorry, I’m probably using the wrong terminology. I’ve just had systems in the past that firmware updates allow for bug changes in specific games, but I guess this is different. Still a bit new to how it all works myself.

I was mostly just thinking of future devices that haven’t been manufactured yet.