Is your computer suddenly slow and hot all the time? You may have fallen victim to this new Russian malware designed to steal your computing power to secretly hide cryptocurrency.
Researchers at McAfee labs have discovered a new generation of crypto-jacking malware that cannibalizes your computing power to extract Monero or Zcash.
What is particularly interesting is that the malware, dubbed WebCobra, will install a different miner depending on the configuration of the machine.
After careful analysis, the researchers noticed that hackers are distributing the software through a malicious Microsoft installation package. Interestingly, the package has been programmed to install Cryptonight miners on x86 systems and Claymore's Zcash miner on x64 systems.
It is worth pointing out that the miner Cryptonight is not strictly limited to Monero. In fact, it is compatible with practically all the other coins that use the Cryptonight algorthm.
While researchers have tracked the origins of malware in Russia, the report finds that infection is currently most likely to have affected Brazil, South Africa and the United States more severely.
One thing is certain: crypto-jacking attack vectors become increasingly complex from day to day.
Last week, researchers discovered a new tactic that involved masking mining malware as a legitimate Windows installation file. Swiss security experts have also warned that cryptocurrant scammers constantly add new techniques, such as trojan attacks, to their arsenal.
McAfee labs suggest that this trend will probably continue – at least in the near future.
"The increase in the value of cryptocurrencies has pushed cybercriminals to use malware that steals the resources of the machine to extract cryptographic coins without the consent of the victims, "the report reads.
To give you some context, reports suggest that CoinHive – another Monero miner often employed by hackers – is generating over $ 250,000 in profits each month.
"Money-laundering malware will continue to evolve as cybercriminals take advantage of this relatively easy path to steal value, "the researchers conclude." Mining coins on other people's systems require less investment and risk of ransomware and do not depend on a percentage of victims who agree to send money. "
Published November 13, 2018 at 16:56 UTC