ESEA publish apology and explanation for including Bitcoin hack in their server client


Earlier today we reported on news that users of the ESEA server client had found malware installed to their graphics cards. The hack was using the GPUs to generate Bitcoins for an ESEA computer. All told, from the time since the hack was installed into the client software and till it was discovered, the exploit created $3,713.55 of the internet currency.

ESEA have now issued a formal apology and explanation, claiming that “an employee acting on his own and without authorization to access our community through our company’s resources” is responsible for activating beta code that the company never intended on using.

Initially, ESEA co-founder Eric ‘lpkane’ Thunberg said that the bitcoin mining code had been built into the server client as an “April Fools”. The formal apology takes a quite different tone: “With the whole fervor around Bitcoin, we did conduct some internal tests with the Client on only two of our own, consenting administrators’ accounts to see how the mining process worked and determine whether it was a feature that we might want to add in the future.”

ESEA do not say who this employee was, what has happened to he or she since the discovery, nor whether they plan on prosecuting them.

They do say that “The owners and management at ESEA all apologize to each of you that were impacted by the recent events and intend to make things right. ESEA has issued a free month of ESEA Premium to all of our community members who were enrolled in Premium for the month of April. We also ask anyone who has experienced any physical damage to their computers to open an ESEA support ticket.”

Hopefully that should mean that any damage caused by the errant code is reimbursed.

As well as the free month of premium membership, ESEA “have released all of the Bitcoin wallet addresses as well as data dumps of the wallets themselves. The value of the mined Bitcoins was $3,713.55 and ESEA will be donating 100% of the $3,713.55 to the American Cancer Society. ESEA will also match 100% of this amount for a total of $7,427.10 donated. ESEA is also increasing the Season 14 League prize pot by $3,713.55.”