Online gaming giant Steam has made the decision to remove the popular game, Abstractism, from its platform after a user linked it to a cryptocurrency mining scam.
Apparently, Abstractism items listed on the Steam marketplace were infected with crypto mining malware. After a player purchased an item disguised to look like Team Fortress 2 weapon he discovered it was a fraud. Further investigations by Youtube user SidAlpha brought to light similar suspicions of hidden malware. A screenshot posted by one user shows the common anti-malware program Malwarebytes indicating a threat from one of the games files.
Game developer Okalo Union has been banned from Steam. In a post which has since been altered, the developer initially admitted using the game to mine Monero (XMR) but now claims it doesn’t use it to mine any cryptocurrency.
The fact that the game requires users to leave it running constantly is certainly very suspicious. Many players noticed there was a problem when they saw the amount of CPU and GPU power the game was using on their machines. However, Okalo Union claims the excessive usage is the result of the games high-quality graphics.
Cryptocurrency mining malware has become hugely common in the past few months, with over 40,000 machines estimated to be infected. In June, authorities in Japan and China cracked down on the practice with a slew of arrests being made. Due to its anonymous nature, Monero is the most common cryptocurrency used for illegal mining operations.
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