According to Avast, Minecraft skins hosted on the official Minecraft website were infected with malware and 50,000 players had been infected, and in certain instances the malware wiped system drives and corrupted backups.
Countless of Minecraft players downloaded the game mod might have received a nasty surprise in the kind of malware made to reformat their hard drives. The malicious code in question has been spotted by security company Avast, who reported it had been written into files for custom Minecraft skins. The skins that carries the malware script:
If you are not a Minecraft player or you have just used the default game so far, skins redesign the player character’s avatar. The marketplace for Minecraft skins is enormous, with tens of thousands of fan-made skins across heaps of websites.
Once downloaded, the infectious malware could reformat hard-drives and delete backup data and system programs. Avast estimates the amount of infected computers to be approximately 50,000. In comparison with Minecraft’s userbase of roughly 74 million players, which may appear to be a small number, but it is still higher than it ought to be. Avast speculates the likely target for the attack might be Minecraft’s millions of underage users, who might not have the wariness of tech-savvy adults.
The skins that contained the malware were on the official Minecraft website, meaning the unwary could have been duped into believing had been filtered by Microsoft or even the developers. Mojang has fixed the issue by deploying an update that strips out all the information from uploaded skin files other than the actual image data itself and has removed the infected skins from the website.