Cities Skylines developers made a public announcement to ease their users regarding the rumours of malware within banned mods on Steam workshop.
A lot of rumors have been going around the Cities Skylines community after two mods have been banned from the Steam workshop. Quickly, the rumor spread around about possible malware and keyloggers inside those mods, which had a lot of players worried considering the modding plays a huge role in Cities Skylines.
To end those rumors, the Cities: Skylines team made an announcement today to clear up some of the misinformation surrounding these mods. The announcement transparently covered the reason why the two mods were banned.
Banned mods in question are Network Extensions 3 and Update from Github.
According to the developers, no evidence was found for keyloggers, viruses, bitcoin mining, or anything similar.
Network Extensions 3 was banned because it blocked a shortlist of Steam users from using the mod. Blocking users or creating specific restrictions for them violates the Steam Subscriber Agreement and such resulted in the mod being banned, even though the list was later redacted.
Update from Github was only available for a short while on the Steam workshop before it was removed. The mod was designed to check for and install updates to other mods directly from Github, which bypassed the Steam Workshop entirely and could possibly make changes to the User's Workshop subscription without his knowledge.
That was deemed as a potential abuse because it opened the door to downloading malicious software without the User's approval, and was deleted because of it
Harmony (Redesigned) mod has been mentioned in this context as well, although the mod has not been updated for almost a year as the account is banned and contributors are unable to update workshop items.
The announcement conclusion was:
- No keyloggers, viruses, bitcoin mining software, or similar has been found in mods on the Steam Workshop.
- The mod Network Extensions 3 was banned due to a violation of the Steam Subscriber Agreement.
- The mod Update from Github was removed as a potential risk, and only affected ~50 users.
- The Harmony (Redesigned) mod available on the Steam Workshop has not been found to contain the code to automatically update mods outside the Workshop. I
Some users are not buying the developer's announcement, saying that it is a PR cover-up and that mods did in fact contain the malware.
However, the code for the mods is publicly available on Github, and besides blocking a couple of Steam users, does not seem to be doing anything harmful.