Even the mighty League of Legends online game can’t escape cryptojacking as an illicit cryptocurrency mining script was found on their Philippines server.


League of Legends is a juggernaut in the online gaming world, generating over a billion dollars in annual revenue for Riot Games. The MOBA features two teams of players duking it out against each other, choosing from a dizzying array of interesting characters. However, it seems that the online behemoth isn’t immune from hackers. A user recently alerted the game that cryptocurrency malware was running on their server in the Philippines, causing players to mine cryptocurrency without their knowledge.

Malware Found

A Reddit user, Lestergonzaga, found the Coinhive malware running on the game’s Garena client. The malware was being used to mine for Monero, a popular privacy coin favored by hackers.

This, naturally enough, caused some concern among League of Legends players. As illicit crypto mining impairs computer performance, the players’ gameplay could easily be impacted. For those who don’t play MOBAs, players of such games are usually really hardcore, and anything that impacts their team’s performance, such as a newbie player, is usually treated with utter disdain (and lots of griping and cursing).

Lestergonzaga posted his findings to the game’s subreddit. Eventually, other players chimed in too, noting that every player who used the Garena+ client was impacted by the Coinhive malware.

League of Legends Responds

The matter of the malware eventually found its way to the League of Legends Philippines Facebook page. The game did make an official response, stating:

On July 9, 2:16 PM GMT+8, there was an unauthorized modification of the League of Legends PH client lobby where a certain javascript code was inserted. This code performs blockchain mining on affected computers, which consumes CPU resources from these computers. Apart from increased CPU usage, extensive analysis from our security engineers has determined that there is no other impact on affected computers.

The online game added:

At July 11, 4:15 AM GMT+8, our security engineers have removed this javascript code and ensure that all users, including those who were previously affected, will no longer encounter this issue.

 

We treat security matters with utmost priority and sincerely apologize for this incident, and for the inconvenience you have experienced.

One wonders how much Monero was generated by the Coinhive malware while it was running. League of Legends is one of the most popular online games in the world (although one could argue that Fortnite is now the king of the online gaming hill). While the malware was confined to the Garena client, it still could have racked up a hefty bit of coinage.

Do you think more cryptocurrency mining malware will pop up in online games? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of League of Legends.

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