Call of Duty Hack Alert: Malware Drains Bitcoin from Gamers’ Wallets

Key Takeaways

  • Cybercriminals unleash malware on Call of Duty cheaters.
  • It is stealing Bitcoin and compromising millions of gaming accounts.
  • Activision Blizzard asserts its servers' security amidst the malware scare.

Cheaters in the famous video game Call of Duty have become the latest targets of a group of cybercriminals.

The hackers have reportedly released malware that steals the Bitcoin holdings of these players, affecting hundreds of thousands of gamers.

The circulating malware is reportedly an infostealer that targets gamers who use cheat codes. The exact number of gamers impacted is unknown. However, estimates suggest millions of Call of Duty accounts were compromised, including Battlenet, Activision, and Elite PVPers accounts.

The malware steals not only Bitcoin but also login credentials for other accounts. This move leaves many wondering what the hackers’ real intent might be.

The first to notice the suspicious activity was the Call of Duty cheat code provider PhantomOverlay after users reported unauthorized purchases.

The gamers who use cheats are primary targets. Still, the malware market informer @vxunderground wrote on X that some users who used gaming software to improve latency, VPNs, and certain controller-boosting software were also affected.

This incident echoes another attack reported in 2018. Back then, a supposed cheat for the massively popular video game Fortnite turned out to be malware designed to steal gamers’ Bitcoin wallet login details.

Activision Blizzard’s Response

In response to the current situation, Call of Duty developer Activision Blizzard told Charlie Intent that its servers remain unaffected.

“There have been claims that some player credentials across the broader industry could be compromised from malware from downloading or using unauthorized software. Activision Blizzard servers remain secure and uncompromised.”

Activision is said to have launched a probe into a hacking campaign targeting the passwords and credentials of users playing its games. 

The California-based video game publisher is investigating after victims reported compromised systems. Malware was utilized to steal login details for gaming portals, including keys to crypto wallets. 

A report from TechCrunch revealed the scandal with an anonymous source close to the matter stating the company is vying to “help remove the malware” and working on identifying and remediating player accounts for anyone affected.”

The source continued to state efforts are ongoing to establish the full extent and implications of the cyber attack, “There is not enough data yet on how (the malware) is spreading”, “it could only be affecting folks who have third-party tools installed.”

Activision Blizzard spokesperson Delaney Simmons attempted to allay fears around the incident by acknowledging “claims that some player credentials across the broader industry could be compromised from malware from downloading or using unauthorized software,” insisting their company servers “remain secure and uncompromised.”

This incident highlights a growing trend of cybercriminals targeting the online gaming industry. With esports’ increasing popularity and in-game economies that use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, gamers are becoming increasingly attractive targets.

This article was written with additional reporting from Graeme Hanna.