Cybercriminals always seem to be on the lookout for new ways to trick users on the internet. A report by CNBC reveals that their latest target is gamers and they are making millions in cryptocurrency. The report cites research done by cybersecurity firm Avast.
According to researchers at Avast, cybercriminals are hiding Crackonosh malware in games. The games that are being used to target users are NBA 2K19, Far Cry 5, Grand Theft Auto V, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, and The Sims 4 — all extremely popular titles. Avast in its report said that these games are easily available on torrent sites.
How does the malware affect users?
Crackonosh malware after it is installed users the computer’s processing power to mine cryptocurrency for the hackers. Avast researchers claim that hackers have used the malware to generate $2 million worth of cryptocurrency in the last three years.
Crackonosh installs itself by replacing critical Windows system files and abusing the Windows Safe mode to impair system defences, Avast said.
This malware further protects itself by disabling the security software, operating system updates and employs other anti-analysis techniques to prevent discovery, making it very difficult to detect and remove.
Once the malware is installed in the computer, the overall performance will become slow. So far, Avast claims that over 2.2 lakh users have been infected so far. The security firm also said that about 800 devices are being infected on a daily basis — though the number could be higher.
The worst-affected countries include Brazil, India, the Philippines and the US.
As long as people continue to download cracked software, attacks like these will continue to be profitable for attackers, Avast said in a post explaining the malware. “The key take-away from this is that you really can’t get something for nothing and when you try to steal software, odds are someone is trying to steal from you,” noted the security firm.