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ESEA targeted by lawsuit over Bitcoin malware scandal

Thursday, 4th July 2013 23:47 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Three claimants have filed suit against eSports community ESEA over malware found in its popular anti-cheating client.

PCGamesN reports Kevin Gallette, Jackson Smith and Roy Han filed the suit “on behalf of all others similarly situated” in California.

The claimants are seeking damages, and are pushing for a trial by jury under the Californian Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act, Unfair Competition, Fraud, Conversion and Product Liability act.

The ESEA client is popular among Counter-Strike, StarCraft 2 and Team Fortress 2 players as an anti-cheat device, but in May, users noticed that the client was hogging an unusually high share of system resources – so much so that some unlucky users reported damage to GPUs.

Eventually, the client was found to host a piece of malware which was capitalising on user’s idle time to mine Bitcoins, to the tune of $3,713.55.

On discovery, ESEA boss Eric Thunberg said the malware was a bit of experimental code which had been removed, but on further investigation the true nature of the malware became clear and the ESEA acknowledged the issue, donating twice the funds harvested by the code to the American Cancer Society. An individual employee was blamed for the code’s release.

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