A Steam game has been caught secretly forcing user’s computers to mine cryptocurrency, yet another incident that will damage Valve’s reputation and make DRM-submissive gamers once again question their process of approving games.
The culprit game, “Abstractism” (a platformer), had been receiving a flood of negative reviews, with some claiming that the game installed a virus disguised as a “steam.exe” process along with malware – screenshots:
One individual did further research and concluded that the viruses might have been cryptocurrency mining software:
The game’s heavy use of CPU and GPU was one hint toward this conclusion, which numerous players have been reporting, though the game’s developer – Okalo Union – believed that this was due to players having “high graphics settings” even though the title was a simple platformer that apparently had low system requirements.
A recent news post from the developer also added further suspicion as it encouraged that players keep the game running all day for item drops, and to be in-game once the drop limit is reset.
Even more concrete however is the developer directly admitting to his misdeeds, though the comment has since been deleted:
In addition to mining cryptocurrency, the developer had been introducing Steam community items to the game that completely replicated the appearance of rare Team Fortress 2 items, causing one unlucky soul to get scammed in a trade:
Abstractism has since been removed, but given past controversies and some seemingly unkept promises, this occurrence will likely only drag Valve’s name even further through the mud…