Players of the popular internet game, League of Legends have fallen prey to a malicious software that programs their system to involuntarily mine Monero [XMR]. A Reddit user named Lestergonzaga discovered this through the Garena server, where many players all around the world have been mining Monero without their knowledge.
The mining process took place in the background silently without alerting the players and was connected to Coinhive, a cryptocurrency mining program. The game officials were immediately informed through the official league of legends subreddit. Some of the gamers were quick to suggest that it wasn’t only the League of Legends but many internet games that used the Garena server were also infected with this malware.
The Garena server immediately took steps to remove this malware before further damage. When asked about this Malware, they stated:
However, the sources say that the code was removed and Garena promised its users that the team will make sure that the server will be protected from such vulnerabilities in the future.
Josh Grunzweig, a researcher at the Palo Alto Networks has discovered that 5% of the entire Monero that has been mined is through hacking.
One of most concerning fact about this recent mining attack is that since it was found out that the mining program was running silently in the background, it is unclear as to how long the program was targeting the League of Legends players before it was found out. Reportedly, there is a considerable high chance that the program has been running for a very long time before Lestergonzaga discovered it.
Secretly distributing malware to hundreds of consumers and then using their own devices to mine these cryptocurrencies has become very profitable especially through online gaming servers and platforms, as discovering of their existence and tracing it back to the source makes it very difficult. Due to a large amount of CPU consumption by gaming servers, it is difficult to initially discover malware that hijacks the CPU for mining.