League of Legends players in the Philippines are in a state after it was discovered that a malicious script used to mine cryptocurrencies by hijacking users’ computing power was discovered in the game’s Garena client.
Cryptojackers Targeting Gamers
League of Legends is one of the most popular online games, amassing more than 81 million active monthly players according to a popular gaming media outlet. The astronomical number has, however, caught the attention of wrongdoers as a cryptojacking script was found on the game’s popular Garena client in the Philippines.
A cryptojacking script is a piece of code embedded on a certain website (or in this case – a gaming client) which allows unauthorized third parties to take advantage of users computing power for the purpose of mining cryptocurrency.
The code which was found on Garena was used to mine Monero, which is one of the popular cryptocurrencies targeted by cryptojackers. According to League of Legends – Philippines’ Facebook page, the issue was quickly resolved and there was no substantial damages done to affected users’ computers apart from increased CPU usage.
Nevertheless, concerns remain in light of the apparent ease with which malicious code can be inserted into a game’s client – especially one as popular as Garena.
Cybersecurity software company Symantec recently pointed out that the low barrier to entry is one of the primary reasons for which instances of cryptojacking are skyrocketing:
The barrier to entry for coin mining is pretty low – potentially only requiring a couple of lines of code to operate – and coin mining can allow criminals to fly under the radar in a way that is not possible with other types of cybercrime.
With the staggering active player base of League of Legends, it’s important that tougher and stricter security means are provided to prevent events of the kind from happening.
Cryptojacking Cases Spiral out of Control
A recent report shows that, whereas instances of such cyber threats as ransomware have decreased, cryptojacking cases have increased substantially. In fact, in the last quarter of 2017, reports of cryptojacking increased by as much as 8,500%.
The trend continues in 2018 as the first three months of 2018 saw an increase of 4000% in the cases of Android crypto-miners. As of March, a total of 16 million cases had been detected, and that number is only increasing.
While it’s true that cryptojacking doesn’t pose the same level of threat as other cyber attacks, it could cause infected computer to run a lot slower than usual. The same goes for other Internet-connected devices, as they are just as susceptible to these attacks.
Consequently, it is highly advisable to monitor the performance of your devices. Abnormally slow performance could just mean that someone is stealing your device’s computing power to mine cryptocurrencies.
Do you think the number of cryptojacking cases will continue to rise? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.
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