eSports Gamers Hit by Monero Mining Malware
A malicious mining software recently targeted a group of esports gamers in the Philippines. The malicious software turned the rigs of League of Legends players into Monero mining machines.
The malware was first reported by a Filipino Redditor named /u/Lestergonzaga, who discovered that clients of the Garena server of the popular multiplayer game were silently being infected with a malicious mining malware. The malware would mine Monero quietly in the background while the gamers played League of Legends (LOL). That malware connected to Coinhive, a popular cryptocurrency mining program.
The Daily Sports reported that the Redditor informed gamers of his discovery by writing on the official League of Legends subreddit, where the post attracted 1,200+ upvotes. The majority of gamers blamed Garena – the server hosting the game – for allowing the malware to be installed on clients computers.
Some of the users were quick to suggest that not just LOL players, but all Garena+ clients were affected by the malware. This could mean Filipino players of other PC games could also be affected. However, Garena is best-known as a League of Legends server.
The team at Garena, meanwhile, was quick to remove the malware from its system:
Garena has removed the code and pledged users that the incident will never happen again.
Meanwhile, reports by cryptocurrency security experts suggest that nearly 1 in 20 Monero (XMR) are mined maliciously. Josh Grunzweig, a researcher at Palo Alto Networks, has found that approximately 5% of all Monero cryptocurrency in circulation has been mined through hacking.
One of the worrying things about this latest Monero mining attack is that the software was quietly running in the background. It’s unclear how long the software has been targeting League of Legends players before it was discovered – but it’s possible the attack had been going on for a considerable length of time before someone noticed it.
League of Legends is one of the world’s most popular PC games. If one server in the Philippines was targeted by the Monero mining malware, then it’s possible other servers have been targeted as well. Stay tuned for more information about Monero hacking via League of Legends servers – this could just be the first of many.