A new game known as Cooking Mama: Cookstar is believed to have been hiding a cryptocurrency miner within its code. The game has already been delisted from several U.S. sites and marketplaces such as e-Shop, while other regions – such as Australia – are refusing to even market the game as a result.
Cooking Mama May Be Secretly Mining Crypto
The Cooking Mama game has been accused by several users on Twitter of utilizing Switch consoles to mine crypto and the personal information of its players, though these accusations have not been fully confirmed. If they are true, the game stands as the latest tool involved in crypto jacking.
Crypto jacking is a dangerous process that has been around for years. Though some sources claim this method of gaining access to crypto illicitly is dying down, many nations – such as North Korea – still utilize it on a widespread basis to build their digital stashes. The process works when a hacker or hackers secretly obtain control of a person’s computer or digital device without their knowledge or consent.
From there, they can mine the cryptocurrencies of their choosing. Typically, number one on their list is Monero, a privacy coin that’s widely sought after by hackers or black-market operators for its quasi-anonymous properties. From there, the hacker can garner a serious profit, while the owner of the device gets nothing unless one counts the expensive energy bills that they’re likely to receive each month.
It’s not pretty and it’s not fair. Nevertheless, there are parties out there that still seek to employ it.
A statement allegedly issued by the Cooking Mama developers has seemingly begun to make its way across social media. While the words appear promising at first, the developers’ identities have not been confirmed by any site or source, and it is unclear if the statement is real or false. The explanation reads:
As the developers, we can say with certainty there is no cryptocurrency or data collection or blockchain or anything else shady in the code. The Nintendo Switch is a very safe platform, with none of the games and privacy issues associated with some mobile and PC games.
Many individuals are also pointing out the game’s history with blockchain technology. It was announced in a press release in 2019 that Cooking Mama would have a “unique blockchain private key” attached to it that would allow for better RDM and rewards, and allow an “enhanced multiplayer experience with dual expression,” thereby making each copy of the game different for every player.
Who Can Say What’s True?
Some are alleging that this is secret verbiage saying each game would implant a different crypto miner onto players’ consoles, while extracted coins would later be transmitted to varying third parties.
Among the few companies to still list the title in their stores are EB Games and JB Hi-Fi.