How many more will we see by the end of the year?
Threat actors victimized more than 1.5 million computer users with cryptocurrency mining software in the first eight months of 2017.
It’s perfect legal for users to install software on their computers that mines cryptocurrency. But miners are unique in that many of them come with the ability to achieve persistence on a system, to automatically launch on boot-up, and to conceal their operations. Threat actors are familiar with these features, which is why they attempt to install such software on users’ computers without their knowledge.
Most of the time, attackers leverage social engineering and conceal otherwise legitimate miners inside of free adware installers. They can either try to enlist the help of a less-than-ethical adware provider or build droppers for cryptocurrency miners by clicking on advertisements posted on Telegram channels. These customizable tools come with the ability to suspend the software if the user launches a popular game like Black Ops 3, GTA V, and World of Tanks.