The Avast Company has discovered a new malware called “Crackonosh” hidden in the free versions of popular PC games. The malware hijacks your computer to be used for cryptocurrency mining.
Cryptocurrency mining malware is hidden in versions of popular titles such as Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 5, The Sims 4, and Jurassic World Evolution, along with various games in the NBA2K series.
It should be noted that the versions of these games that are affected do not come from legitimate sources, Rather, they are pirated copies circulating on forums and torrent sites.
Once downloaded and installed, Crackonosh hijacks and uses the computer’s processor to mine cryptocurrencies intended for hackers.
So far, reports show that Crackonosh has made its creators exceed $ 2 million in crypto since June 2018. The currency Crackonosh focuses on mining is Monero (XMR).
In an interview with CNBCAvast researcher Daniel Benes stated that the malware:
“It takes all the resources that the computer has, so the computer does not respond.”
Benes also said that users will notice that their computers are slower and will continue to see performance deterioration due to overuse. Malware is protected by disabling Windows updates and uninstalling your antivirus software.
Avast stated its belief that Crackonosh malware is of Czech origin, as its name means mountain spirit in local lore.
According to some estimates, more than 200,000 Avast users worldwide have been infected with nearly 1,000 devices more exposed daily.
These are only Avast users who have been affected, the total number of infections worldwide is likely to be much higher.
Crackonosh: a malware that targets gamers
Crackonosh is not the first malware to target video games. While many of these attacks are targeting gamers who acquire your software illegally, some are found in legitimate copies of games distributed online.
A recent hacking campaign was attempted in early June with Steam, one of the most popular places online to buy digital copies of games. According to Akamai, Cyber attacks on gamers have increased by around 350% since the pandemic hit.
Benes concludes his statements on the matter by saying that while the gamers continue to download illegal and unregulated games, attackers will continue to target and profit from them:
“The takeaway key to this is that you can’t really get something for nothing, and when you try to steal software, someone is probably trying to steal from you.”
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Hackers Use Infected PC Games To Mine Monero (XMR) – BeInCrypto