E-Sports Entertainment, better known as ESEA on the streets, has gotten into a relatively major pickle recently when it was found that malware was released into their public client, enabling the mining of Bitcoins.
The exploit was found by an ESEA user who realized that he was farming Bitcoins for another user after noticing extremely high idle GPU usage. Since then, other users of the client have reported that their GPU’s overheated and were disabled by the mining process.
It has been speculated that the ESEA client was pooling these GPU’s in order to generate more money for wallets held by ESEA employees. Needless to say, this is not cool.
The story took an even stranger turn when the ESEA co-founder, Eric ‘Ipkane’ Thunberg, tried to explain the exploit was simply an April Fools joke gone wrong:
“lol that got aggressive quickly
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, considered 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.
This less than satisfactory explanation led to a huge backlash from the community, which in turn, forced Thunberg to respond by saying that he discovered the incident to be “way more shady than I originally thought.”
ESEA user brasky noted that the mining is“definitely not something that has only been happening the past 48 hours. My GPU has been ‘oddly’ running at high loads for at least 2 weeks and I’ve seen others who can confirm this or at worst have already had damage to their cards.”
It seems that the mining process had been running alongside the ESEA client since April 14. It had mined $3,602.21 worth of bitcoins for an unknown third party via the users’ GPUs.
A client update this morning removed any trace of the process, while Thornberg has been playing damage control by pledging a free month of premium membership for current premium members and pledging that any money “inadvertently” made through mining would be added to the prize pool for the upcoming European tournament season.
Thunberg’s latest post ended with a nonchalant “once again, our bad, thanks for keeping us honest.”
Ummm, you’re welcome?