The recent Bitcoins boom has put the focus on cryptocurrencies. In the last few years, cryptocurrencies have gained popularity and wider acceptance among people. Now hackers are intentionally tricking web users to fall prey to this newest scam.
Hackers are using the internet to mine cryptocurrencies for them. The newest scheme to dupe people into mining cryptocurrency is happening over Facebook. Hackers are using Facebook Messenger to trick users to mine cryptocurrency with some slick malware.
Cryptocurrency is The New Gold
Whether we like it or not, cryptocurrency is set to become the future of digital money. The recent surge in Bitcoin’s value has generated a hype and as a result, cryptocurrency mining is becoming popular by the day.
With the increasing value, several websites are surreptitiously mining cryptocurrencies using other people’s CPU power through Facebook Messenger.
Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro first discovered the malware, called as Digmine in South Korea. The malware has already made its way into some of the South Asian countries and might hit India soon.
How The Cryptocurrency Malware Spreads?
The malware spreads only through the desktop version of the Messenger when used on Google Chrome.
Victims receive a file called ‘video_xxxx.zip’ on their Facebook Messenger. Clicking on it will automatically download a malicious Chrome extension and install it in Chrome browser. The Chrome extension is used as the self-propagation system here.
The malware soon gives hackers the control of your machine. As a result, your computer will slow down. From there the malware soon targets other people on your friends list.
If the user’s account is set to ‘Log In Automatically’, the Digmine malware will manipulate Facebook Messenger to send a link of the file to the user’s friends.
Crime & Cryptocurrencies
Since cryptocurrencies are effectively untraceable, cybercriminals nowadays demand ransom in cryptocurrency. Hence, the demand for cryptocurrencies is rising, resulting in crimes where a user’s machine is hijacked to mine this currency.
Amidst increasing malware attacks, the Loapi Android malware went viral and enslaved smartphones to mine cryptocurrencies. Quite recently the Coin Hive Monero Mining Malware had infected Google Play Store.
A recent report also claimed how over a billion video streamers were using internet unwittingly to mine cryptocurrency. Browsers are putting up firewalls trying to block these malwares. Opera 50 has put up its own security to help to keep out Monero Crypto Jacking.
Facebook To The Rescue
After cybersecurity firm Trend Micro reached out to Facebook, they took down all the links connected to the malware from the social networking site and their Messenger bot.
Facebook has promised complete cooperation from their side. If they suspect any computer to be infected with the malware, they will provide a free antivirus scan from one of their trusted partners.
In the meanwhile, you stay alert and take some basic precautions to keep yourself safe. Be extra careful when you receive files over the messenger, even from known people. Using a good antivirus is highly recommended.
With hype comes crime. Such types of malwares will keep growing with time.
Stay safe, browse wisely.
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