Malicious Monero Miners on a rise

Slow and sluggish computer? It might be infected with a cryptocurrency miner

Miners might replace ransomware in the future

Have you been experiencing system slowdowns lately? If so, you might want to check your computer for a cryptocurrency mining malware. Months passed after the worldwide Petya and WannaCry ransomware attacks, and currently, there are no massive malware outbreaks to discuss.

Eventually, cybercriminals discover a new way of exploiting unprotected computers – infecting them with cryptocurrency mining software that silently generates profits for them. Usage of such miners can even replace the need to demand ransoms.

A malicious miner can silently operate for months or years until the victim or a computer technician discovers it, so such method is much likely to earn big profits for malware developers than extortion software. Besides, users are not so willing to pay the ransom nowadays (finally!).

However, we must say that it is too early to underestimate ransomware, especially when Locky, Cerber and CryptoMix operators keep releasing new versions again and again.

Cryptocurrency mining innovation becomes computer users’ nightmare

Recently, Coinhive introduced a crypto miner for websites – a new technology that eliminates the need to display ads in web pages to monetize content. Coinhive Miner is simply a JavaScript library that can be added to web pages with their owners’ approval.

The miner uses visitors’ CPU power to mine XMR. Sounds like a great plan to say goodbye to online ads in the future? Sadly, there is a bad side of the new technology – cybercriminals started leveraging the new miner and create malicious Monero Miners right away. One of the first examples to mention is SafeBrowse extension which mines XMR using infected computers’ CPU power.

Protect yourself as illegal miners spread rapidly

Recent research by Kaspersky shows that there were over 1.65 million attempts to infect computers with cryptocurrency miners in the first eight months of 2017. Also, recent research by ESET shows that criminals have recently used Monero mining software in an attack against unpatched Windows servers. According to security firm, malicious actors managed to earn approximately $63,000 in only three months.

Unfortunately, when infected with a crypto miner, the victim can notice only one sign – the computer becomes sluggish. Since there are thousands of reasons why the computer can perform poorly, it is evident that victims wouldn’t suspect a miner to be the reason. However, a full system scan using up-to-date anti-malware can help to identify the problem easily.

To avoid installing malicious miners, watch what websites you visit and never open questionable files or links sent to you via email. To increase overall computer’s security, install a security software with a good reputation. You can read useful software reviews on 2-Spyware website.

Posted in support.