Viruses for hidden mining of cryptocurrencies have evolved and newer malware can now shut down other mining programs, capturing all the processing power of the afflicted computer.
The malware was discovered by researcher Xavier Mertens of ICS Sans. In addition to the kill list function, which kills the processes of other minor programs, the virus does not differ from the set of existing cryptographic scripts that were distributed this year.
To date, there are many viruses for hidden cryptocurrency mining. Therefore, there is a high probability that many have already gotten malicious and, masquerading as harmless system processes, quietly extract Bitcoins.
The author of the modified virus decided that everything will be solved by natural selection, and compiled a list of the most frequently used system processes under which viruses-competitors are hiding. The Trojan checks the running processes and, in case of detection of names from the list, stops them.
According to Mertens, experts in the field of cybersecurity can use the work done by the author of the virus to detect infected computers. It is worth noting that this is not the first Trojan containing the kill list function, but none of them waere intended for cryptocurrency mining.
According to a study by the largest cyber security company Symantec Threat Intelligence, from October 2017 to January 2018 there has been a sharp increase in hacker attacks on users’ computers for crypto mining purposes. The most active hackers operated in the UK, where the growth of attacks was 1200%, in the US, Japan, France, Germany.
One of the victims was the American manufacturer of electric vehicles Tesla. Hackers introduced a miner through the company’s cloud service. Also, hackers attacked sites of British government organizations, including the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the Scottish National Health Service (Scottish NHS) and the Student Loans Company.
In total, hackers infected 4,700 sites with the virus, among which were several private ones like the Virgin Care Service (Virgin Care), and UK Power Networks.
Users are encouraged to enter captchas, which can sometimes be difficult. This feature is used by hackers, downloading the processors of their victims for 100% efficiency of Monero mining. It is noteworthy that the CAPTCHA solution does not give the desired result as users are simply redirected to the Google homepage.
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