ESEA Client Has Been Mining Bitcoins For Over Two Weeks
Matt St-Georges / 5 years ago
The ESEA, which is an eSports network, has been found to be mining Bitcoins through its anti-cheat client. The malware used users’ graphics cards to acquire the online currency. This information was first discovered by a ESEA forum user named “ENJOY ESEA SHEEP”, who noticed something was strange after excessively high idle GPU usage.
Mining is actually the legitimate way to get Bitcoins, however getting your community to do it for you unknowingly is not.
ESEA co-founder Eric ‘Ipkane’ Thunberg responded multiple times, changing his explanation and trying to make things right. His initial statement claimed that it was an April Fool’s gag.
Back towards the end of March, as BTC was skyrocketing, Jaguar and I were talking about how cool it would be if we could use massive amounts of GPUs logged into the client to mine.
We went back and forth about it, considering doing something for April fools, didn’t get it done in time, and eventually elected to put some test code in the client and try it on a few admin accounts, ours included. We ran the test for a few days on our accounts, decided it wasn’t worth the potential drama, and pulled the plug, or so we thought.
Fast forward to 48 hours ago, a fuck up in the client server results in a restart which results in a setting getting changed which enables it for all idle users and here we are.
Only a few hours later, he posted another statement after users pointed out that anti-virus software had been flagging the client for longer than the claimed 48 hours. Originally he stated that they were able to net 2BTC (worth $280USD) in the 48 hours. After admitting the clients had been mining since April 14th, they were able to acquire about 25BTC (worth $3,602.21USD).
So the end result is that money will be pooled in ESEA’s season 14 prize pot and that premium users will receive a one free month of premium code. Whether this was deliberate or not is unknown, but the damage is done.