Hackers Deploy Malware in Call of Duty Cheats to Steal Bitcoin from Gamers

Last Updated on March 29, 2024

Victor Headshot
Written by
Playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 With Xbox Controller. Source: miglagoa - stock.adobe.com

Key Takeaways:

  • A campaign utilizing information-stealing malware has targeted individuals using cheats and software enhancements in Call of Duty, leading to the theft of Bitcoin and sensitive data. This has affected hundreds of thousands, with both cheaters and non-cheating software users impacted.
  • The security breach was initially identified by “PhantomOverlay,” after users reported unauthorized transactions. Subsequently, similar incidents across various cheat code providers have confirmed the widespread nature of the exploit.
  • Activision Blizzard is working with cheat code providers to aid affected users, amidst reports of over 3.6 million potentially compromised accounts across several platforms, highlighting the extensive reach of the cybercriminals.

A group of cybercriminals has launched a campaign using an information-stealing malware targeting individuals cheating in video games, specifically Call of Duty, to exfiltrate their bitcoin holdings.

This nefarious scheme has already compromised the security and finances of hundreds of thousands of gaming enthusiasts, with the victim count continuing to rise, according to insights shared by malware information source @vxunderground.

Interestingly, not all victims of this cyber attack were engaged in cheating activities.

Some were merely using software enhancements for latency reduction, VPNs, or certain types of controller boosting software, highlighting a broader vulnerability within the gaming community to such exploitative tactics.

The situation first came to light when “PhantomOverlay,” a provider of Call of Duty cheat codes, observed suspicious activities following reports from users of unauthorized transactions.

Subsequently, similar incidents were confirmed by competing cheat code providers, including Elite PVPers, who communicated these breaches to @vxunderground.

Call of Duty Cold on the PC.
Source: CassianoCorreia – stock.adobe.com

Victims of this malware reported the theft of sensitive information, including login credentials, and, in some cases, found their Electrum bitcoin wallets emptied.

The extent of the cryptocurrency stolen remains undetermined, underscoring the severity of the breach.

In response to this crisis, Activision Blizzard, the developer behind Call of Duty, is said to be collaborating with the implicated cheat code providers in an effort to assist the affected gamers.

Reports suggest that the breach has extended to over 3.6 million Battlenet accounts561,000 Activision accounts, and 117,000 Elite PVPers accounts, though PhantomOverlay has suggested these figures may be exaggerated.

This incident is not the first of its kind; video game cheaters have been targets for hackers for years.

Notably, in 2018, malware disguised as a cheat for the popular game Fortnite was actually a tool designed to steal bitcoin wallet credentials.

A similar attack occurred in 2019, where Fortnite players faced ransomware that threatened to lock away their computer data, showcasing a continuing trend of cybercriminals exploiting the gaming sector for financial gain.

About The Author

Victor Headshot
Written by

News Reporter

Victor Fawole, a seasoned Web3 content creator and social media influencer, excels in bringing the pulse of the crypto world to our readers.

With a keen eye for emerging trends and a talent for engaging storytelling, Victor’s articles offer a fresh perspective on the ever-evolving digital currency landscape.

Check Victor out on: