A new Russian malware designed to extract Monero from privacy-centric cryptocurrencies has been discovered by researchers at McAfee Labs, the latest malware for coin mining to be discovered in recent weeks.
The malware, known as WebCobra, steals computing power from the affected devices, before extracting it silently for cryptocurrency in the background. Users are often unaware of the effects of malware until they notice a loss of performance or a higher energy bill than expected.
WebCobra is similar to other malware, according to McAfee Labs experts, with attacks of this type nicknamed "cryptojacking". These attacks have become increasingly common in recent months, particularly appreciated by the mining scammers SegWit and Monero.
This latest discovery reveals a new type of malware, which researchers have linked to hackers based in Russia.
While some have suggested that cryptojacking is less invasive than other types of hacks, the financial costs of extracting some cryptocurrencies, along with the significant loss of processing power, means that this is far from a victimless crime.
According to a post by McAfee Labs, the costs for the extraction of a single BTC can reach tens of thousands of dollars. The report found that "coin mining malware is difficult to detect." Once a machine is compromised, a malicious app runs automatically in the background with only one sign: reduced performance. consumption of energy, the car slows down, leaving the owner a headache and an unwelcome account, since the energy needed to extract a single bitcoin can cost from $ 531 to $ 26,170 … "
The researchers said: "We believe that this threat comes from installers of PUP rogue, we have observed the world with the highest number of infections in Brazil, South Africa and the United States."
These types of mining encryption scams have increased up to 500% in 2018 until now, leading to an intervention by Google to block the code obscured by its Chrome Web Store, in an attempt to stem the wave of attacks.
Because encryption malware such as WebCobra continues to become more sophisticated, it is likely that other systems will be unintentionally compromised by this type of "cryptojacking" attack.