Garena and Its Crypto Scandal

You might have heard of this very popular game, “League of Legends”. Haven’t You? But have you heard about the garena crypto scandal?
Saif K.
1:20 22nd Nov, 2022

Riot Games created and released League of Legends (LoL), sometimes known as League, a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) computer game in 2009.

This game was subjected to “Crytojacking” affecting all the players too.

The precise crypto hack that the client was subjected to is now rather prevalent. The virus, known as Coinhive, is a single line of Javascript code that mines cryptocurrencies (Monero, specifically).

Asia-based platform supplier Garena was established in Singapore in 2009.The multiplayer battle arena games like League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, the online soccer game FIFA Online 3, as well as the shooting titles like Free Fire, Point Blank and Alliance of Valiant Arms, are all available on Garena's gaming servers.

Garena Zelta
Credits to Garena

In May, a different report revealed that more than 300 websites had a Coinhive presence, though for some sites like Salon that was a deliberate business model choice as an alternative to ad revenue.

In January, it was revealed that these sorts of cryptojackings were impacting almost 55% of global businesses, with a vast majority embedded in online ads — Cointelegraph called it an "epidemic."

This is what happened with the League of Legends Philippines client which unknowingly had a Bitcoin miner built-in on their Garena client program. It came into consideration when a Reddit user re-booted the laptop and then, the anti-virus flagged League of Legends as a risk which was directed to (also known for mining a particular cryptocurrency called Monero)

What exactly is Cryptojacking?

crypto jacking; cryptojacking; stealing; theft
Image Credits: Binance

All of us know about blockchain networks and how mining is done for various cryptocurrencies and thus, we would not be touching it deeply but this is where the concept of crypto-jacking and the role of crypto jackers kick in.

(Click here to learn about Blockchains)

The threat known as "cryptojacking" takes over a computer or mobile device and uses its resources to mine cryptocurrencies.

Cryptojackers are those who desire to take advantage of cryptocurrency mining's advantages but avoid the prohibitive price. Cryptojacking enables hackers to mine for cryptocurrencies without the high overhead costs of purchasing pricey mining equipment or high power bills.

Monero is a cryptocurrency that is largely mined on home computers and is popular among hackers since it is hard to track.

How does Cryptojacking and Cryptojackers work?

Now we know some basic information about crypto-jacking and the ones who do it. Now, a question arises how do crypto-jackers get into your devices? Let’s see the answer to it.

Devices are hacked by cybercriminals who then install cryptojacking software. The malware operates in the background, stealing from bitcoin wallets or mining for new ones.

The unaware victims use their gadgets normally, however they can experience delays or decreased performance.

Hackers can silently mine cryptocurrency on a victim's device using two main methods:

1- By persuading the target to open a malicious link in an email that launches crypto-mining software on the machine

2- By inserting JavaScript code into a website or online advertisement so that it automatically runs when the victim's browser loads it

To increase their profit, hackers frequently combine the two techniques. In each instance, the victim works while the malware installs the cryptojacking script into the device and lets it run in the background.

Regardless of the technique, the script does difficult mathematical operations on the victims' computers and transmits the results to a server under the hacker's control.

Cryptojacking scripts don't harm machines or victims' data as other kinds of malware do. They do, however, steal processing power from computers. Slower computer performance may only be an issue for some users.

However, cryptojacking is a problem for businesses since they have to pay actual fees when their systems are frequently compromised.

What Happened with Garena League of Legends?

Players of League of Legends in the Philippines were recently the target of a "cryptojacking," according to Garena, the game's local publisher.

In a nutshell, according to the company's statement, on July 9th, a hacker inserted a line of computer code to the game's client that secretly mined cryptocurrencies. Garena programmers quickly upgraded the client and deleted the code.

Although it can seem like a typical issue, it can really be very harmful for a gaming client. The goal of cryptominers, particularly malevolent ones, is to strain a computer to its maximum capacity in order to produce the greatest processing power—and hence, the most bitcoin.

These can swiftly push a computer to its breaking point, resulting in wear and tear as well as perhaps scorching of the CPU or overflowing of the power supply.

Unfortunately, this is the second time for Garena that malware has entered their client, raising concerns about its ability to shield players from attacks of this nature in the future.

Tencent, the company that owns Riot Games, plans to build its own platform internationally, so Garena may feel pressure to either increase security or withdraw from the market.


As per a statement by Garena itself, "a specific piece of javascript code was injected into the League of Legends PH client lobby on July 9 as a result of illicit modification. On vulnerable machines, this malware does blockchain mining operations, using CPU resources on those computers in the process.

Our security engineers conducted a thorough examination and found that the impacted PCs are not affected in any other way except higher CPU consumption.

On July 11, our security engineers deleted this javascript code, ensuring that everyone—including those who had previously been impacted—would not experience this problem going forward."

Adding to the above statement, Garena mentioned that, “We give security issues the highest attention and deeply regret this event and the difficulty it has caused you”.

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