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Bitcoin malware scandal leads to lawsuit against ESEA

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The state of California is hosting more legal episodes involving Bitcoin. Now, three claimants have filed a suit against E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA) because of a hurtful discovery: cryptocurrency-related malware was found in the community’s popular anti-cheating client.

The suit is being filed by Kevin Gallette, Jackson Smith and Roy Han and they are seeking damages. The three claimants are pushing for a trial by jury, according to the “Californian Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act, Unfair Competition, Fraud, Conversion and Product Liability” act.

It all went down last May. At the time, the players were using the ESEA client especially in games like “Counter Strike”, “StarCraft 2” or “Team Fortress 2”, as an anti-cheat device. However, some users started noticing that the client was cornering an unusually high amount of system resources. Well, so much that at least these three unlucky players reported damages in their GPUs.

After a quick investigation, the discovery was made: the client was hosting a piece of malware, which was capitalising on user’s idle time to mine Bitcoins. Apparently, the malware helped produce an amazing amount of $3,713.55.

Eric Thunberg, ESEA’s director, claimed the malware was just experimental code which had been removed. Yet, after a more extended investigation, the true face of the malware was exposed and the ESEA was forced to acknowledge the issue. The service donated twice the funds harvested by the code to the American Cancer Society, but that didn’t please all harmed players. Finally, an employee was blamed for the code’s release.


Maria is an experienced journalist currently living in the UK. She has been writing about Bitcoin and the altcoin universe since 2013. She is also a member of the Lifeboat Foundation's New Money Systems Board and a big cryptocurrency supporter.

View all Posts by Maria Santos

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