Final Fantasy XIV Add-On Gshade Adds Malware In Latest Update
Gshade proved itself to be extremely shady.
- Final Fantasy XIV Director Yoshi-P has officially stated many times that these third-party tools are not to be used at any cost.
- Gshade’s latest update had a coded sequence that can reboot a user’s system against their will.
- The developers of this tool claimed this to be a deliberate action. They have since apologized and restricted downloads of the program.
Many of us in the gaming space have most likely heard of Final Fantasy XIV in the past — the critically acclaimed MMORPG with an expansive free trial. Often making the headlines for its content and quality, there has been some drama recently within the FFXIV community.
Yesterday, a popular shader application for Final Fantasy XIV used by many players around the globe found itself in hot water and for extremely understandable reasons. This shader tool is called Gshade and it serves the purpose of making the game look a bit more visually appealing.
Final Fantasy XIV, Third-Party Tools, & Gshade
In order to understand the concern of players, we must first look at what Gshade actually does. It’s a third-party tool developed by people that are not associated with Final Fantasy XIV or Square Enix. The purpose of this tool is to increase the visual fidelity of the game via the use of varying shaders that are loaded onto the game itself.
As stated by Square Enix in its Terms and Conditions, all third-party tools are prohibited. Any person found to be using these tools will have action taken against them.
While that’s been stated clearly, the stance taken by the developers has almost always been a bit circumstantial. Players have always taken advantage of this due to the nature of the company’s stance.
Even so, it goes without saying that common sense and logic should be exercised in such grey areas. However, most people do not use logic and force the developers’ hand as we have seen in the recent drama surrounding The Omega Protocol (Ultimate).
The Drama Surrounding Gshade
Yesterday, Gshade was trending on Twitter due to its latest update. People brought to light that Gshade was accessing the user’s computer without their consent in order to reboot their system.
This occurred when the tool in question was deemed as being used “improperly” through a form of an internal check. Twitter user @perchbird_ posted a video of the reboot happening in real time.
Yes, this is the kind of bullshit that GShade is working on, rather than bothering to implement a more sensible update system. The installer RESTARTS YOUR SYSTEM if it detects it's not being run "properly". Continued… pic.twitter.com/3eacb6RH5U
— perchbird (@perchbird_) February 6, 2023
It was also revealed that this was not a mistake on the developer’s end. Twitter user @GutterSnipeXIV shared a chain of tweets that showed the Gshade developer claiming full responsibility for this action. He cited that this was meant to be a lesson and that they could have coded anything but went with a simple restart as it’s more noticeable.
This is the dev of GSHADE admitting to turning it into malware, saying they could easily have coded it to do anything they wanted, but chose just a restart.
This is not okay, y'all. https://t.co/WdSsrZ4BmB
— ✨ Rory, soup-related crises 🍲˙⊙. – 6.3 spoilers (@GutterSnipeXIV) February 6, 2023
The problem here lies in the fact that you are using a program and its developers can control your device to such an extent.
Unlike corporate entities that are bound by specific laws and regulations regarding privacy and data collection, third parties in most cases are not. This is especially true for community-based projects that Gshade falls into.
The Gshade developers have since apologized for the situation and allegedly removed the code that executed the reboot. Final Fantasy XIV content creator Kougaon covered the topic in a video showing the entire situation along with the apology issued by the Gshade developer.
There is currently an ongoing exodus and people are moving to the competitor shader tool in light of recent events — Reshade. It’s also worth noting that Gshade’s website is not allowing any downloads of the program at present.
One of the managers of the GPOSERS community discord server, Serenaya Carrin, took to Twitter in order to express his thoughts on the matter. Serenaya is an amazing content creator of Final Fantasy XIV and has a sizeable following within the space.
For what it may be worth, in regards to the recent drama regarding GShade – I am no longer a member of staff for the GPOSERS community server (where support for GShade also resides). I can't and won't support the developer due to their intentional inclusion of malicious code. 1/2
— Serenaya Carrin (@SerenayaCarrin) February 6, 2023
It is because of the lack of regulation that Yoshi-P has always insisted players avoid using these programs as they do not know what they can do. The team is not able to overlook and regulate the myriad third-party tools out there and it is common sense to understand the risks that come with their usage.
These warnings have been shrugged off by players and such instances of drama keep happening. On the surface, third-party tools are prohibited and should not be used. Yet people continue to do so and expect some form of positive intervention by the developers such as allowing third-party tools.
In light of this situation, we urge all players out there to be aware of the risks and make an informed decision when using any third-party software. Safety is paramount.
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