Steam Alert: Abstractism Game Exploited Gamers’ CPU for Cryptomining

Numerous Steam users have reported that a game titled Abstractism is consuming way too much CPU power to mine for cryptocurrency. The game was also selling marketplace items that were masqueraded as goods from popular games such as Team Fortress 2. As a result, Valve has removed the game from Steam, along with the developer of the title, Okalo Union.

Several reports were received in regards of Abstractism. Players of the game were alerted by the excessive CPU and GPU usage mainly because the game is simple and minimalistic. As pointed out by security researcher Graham Cluey, “when you see the very-basic game in action, it’s hard to believe that it could have any legitimate need to stretch the abilities of a typical gaming PC”.

That’s not all, however. Abstractism was also found guilty of duplicating expensive items from other games, and attempting to sell the fake copies at higher prices in Steam’s Community Market. Gamers reported the scams on Forums Backpack and over Reddit.

steamservice.exe at Fault for Cryptomining?

As for the cryptomining activities associated with Abstractism, they involve an executable file known as steamservice.exe. The latter was added to the game on July 23. However, it should be noted that reports about unusual CPU usage came even earlier than this.

Okalo Union, the developer of the game, announced on the same day that item drops were available, but only when specific conditions were met: they are linked to playtime, and get less frequent, but more valuable, as you play. The gamer also needs to have Abstractism open for the drop timer to reset, scheduled to happen every Friday.

PC Games N’s Richard Scott-Jones has wrapped up the Abstractism cryptomining case:

Okalo Union’s assertion (Read more...)

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