Is my video game using my computer to crypto mine? – General Security


Most of the info I can find is about unintended installation or use of apps/programs web pages that crypto mine without your consent, that is NOT the question. What about an intended installation of a wanted program such as a video game that then uses your device to mine without telling you.

 

I like to game, I play a few games that are in different stages of release from alphas to finished releases. These alpha and betas are typically rough and badly optimized or completely unoptimized leading to things like high cpu and gpu usage and memory leaks. While mostly completely expected and normal, it makes me wonder about some games that seem to never improve, is it to hide something or just bad development? 9 times out of 10 I’m going to assume the latter.

 

Then we have the whole new genre of video games that are crypto mining as a game, where it is fully intended and disclosed that you are downloading a game as a way to crypto mine. These type of games I try to steer clear of and wouldn’t think of installing, still they exist. Then I remember hearing stories a few years ago there was at least one mmo that ended up using it’s player’s computers as a crypto mining network, I think it was reported as a rouge employee had hijacked the client to run mining software in the background. This was a while ago and I’m unable to find the news story if there was ever one or possibly this is just a urban myth I’ve heard along the lines.

 

With all of this and the rise of more and more MMOs being kick starter type funded instead of coming from large known studios: How do I tell that this game (or even program or software) isn’t using my hardware to mine crypto?

 

When it is a legitimate and signed windows install, that you intentionally downloaded and installed, doesn’t throw any errors or unknown publisher warnings, how do you also verify that it is or is not also crypto mining? Does Malwarebytes and other protection software catch this hidden type of use from “good installations”?



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