A US gaming company is blaming a rogue employee for putting code onto users’ machines which turned them into unwitting Bitcoin miners.

ESEA runs servers for CounterStrike and other games in the US and Europe. It said it was running a very limited test using its client software to include Bitcoin mining. Although it decided not to go through with this dubious move, it said a rogue member of staff secretly sent out the software and was collecting the gains.

By the time ESEA management realised what was going he had made $3,713.55. The company is giving this amount to the American Cancer Society and matching it with its own funds. It is also adding $3,713.55 to prize money for the season’s League.

In a statement titled ‘Bitcoin fiasco’, ESEA admitted it had failed its members. It said the furore over Bitcoin led the company to begin testing it on two admin machines in April. On April 13, it killed off the project but an unnamed admin continued running the code for his own benefit.

Just what ESEA thought it was doing even condsidering turning customers’ machines into a zombie network is of course another question…

ESEA is offering customers a free month’s subscription to anyone who had the code on their machine. Anyone worried about damage to their machines is told to open a support ticket.

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