Crypto mining malware hiding as legitimate software invades 112,000 PCs

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Cryptocurrency mining malware has invaded hundreds of thousands of computers around the world. The malware has been operational since 2019 and uses PCs to mine the Monero Privacy Coin (XMR).

Cryptocurrency mining malware invades 112,000 PCs

Check Point Research released a report on Monday detailing the activities of a cryptocurrency mining malware that went undetected for years. The malware avoided detection thanks to its functional design that installs it weeks after the initial software was downloaded to the PC.

The malware in question is linked to a Turkish-language software developer who claims to provide free, secure software. The malware program invades PCs using fake desktop versions of leading apps like YouTube Music, Microsoft Translate, and Google Translate.

The malware installation process takes place after a scheduled activity mechanism. Installation takes several days, after which the sneaky Monero cryptocurrency mining operation will begin. The research claimed that cryptocurrency mining malware had infected PCs in 11 countries.

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The Check Point Research also claimed that the malware had created fakes of leading software download sites such as Uptodown and Softpedia. The programs have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. The counterfeit desktop version of Google Translate on Softpedia has around a thousand reviews and a rating of 9.3 out of 10.

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Malware design helps avoid detection

The malware in question was difficult to detect. Even after the PC user launches the fake software, he can’t detect anything wrong because the fake apps will provide the same functions that the legitimate apps offer.

Most programs run by the hacker can easily be created from official web pages via a Chromium-based framework. This allows them to augment functional programs loaded with malware without developing them from scratch.

More than 100,000 people in 11 countries have fallen prey to this malware. Countries affected include the United States, United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Australia, Greece, Turkey, Mongolia, Germany, and Mongolia.

PC users have been given several security tips that they can use to avoid being scammed by malware and other similar malware. These tips include looking for fake domain names, website misspellings, and emails sent from unknown sources.

In addition, it is recommended that users download software only from authorized known locations, vendors, and publishers. It should also be ensured that endpoint security is up to date and provides complete oversight.

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