Rumors that the Nintendo Switch game Cooking Mama: Cookstar has had running cryptojacking malware in secret have appeared over this weekend.
While developers denied this had happened, Nintendo still pulled the game from the eShop. It was a Reddit post that said Cooking Mama is mining crypto in secrecy, whereas some other players mentioned their Switch heated up pretty badly and ran low on battery very fast while playing the game. Hours after the claims, Cooking Mama was pulled from Nintendo’s online store and the Reddit mods have been since removed.
The internet is alive with rumors that Cooking Mama: Cookstar contains hidden cryptocurrency/blockchain capabilities that are causing the Switch to overheat. This is absolutely incorrect.
At Planet Entertainment, we explored both blockchain technology and cryptocurrency tokens.
— Cooking Mama: Cookstar (@CookstarMama) April 6, 2020
Game’s Developer Vehemently Denies the Rumors
1st Playable, the game’s developer said:
“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 data and privacy issues associated with some mobile and PC games.”
Ever since launched in 2016, the Cooking Mama franchise has included many titles, being available on both Nintendo and iOS. There has clearly been a problem with the game, seeing that it was removed from the eShop right after the crypto malware rumors.
Cryptojacking Is More and More Common
Crypto mining malware is a more common and very worrying matter. It’s done mostly on websites, as here it engages background mining secretly, while visitors are spending their time navigating the sites’ pages. There are also more sophisticated versions that install themselves in toolbars and on apps, mining the victims’ devices for an indefinite period of time. Therefore, it’s not surprising that video game consoles have been attacked as well.
A Solution Would be to Allow the Mining to Take Place
Being very difficult to prevent, cryptojacking has been suggested by some crypto enthusiasts to become legal by making restricted media content available to people in return for limited mining, something that could work very well with video games too. Since this practice is far from being implemented yet, the best way to fight cryptojacking at the moment is to be vigilant.