THE PC MODDING COMMUNITY IS having a mined for Monero moment after it was revealed that a GTA V mod that they might have installed could have been secretly using their CPU to mine cryptocurrency.
The mod is called Arbuz and was sniffed out by a security outfit called Minerva. Users may have installed it on their desktop, and if they have, they will likely be part of the trend for crypto-mining, which is a sneaky way of stealing processing power from people for profit. This one doesn't mine for Bitcoin, but that does not mean that there is no money in it.
"There are more than 10 different cryptocurrencies with a market cap exceeding one billion US dollars including Ethereum, Litecoin, ZCash and Monero. Some are very similar, but others significantly differ in the mathematical and computational properties of their implementation. It is possible to gain cryptocurrency as a reward for performing heavy computational operations, this process is often referred to as mining," added Minerva as it discussed the so-called 'WaterMiner' threat.
"Crypto-mining malware abuses its victim's resources to perform the heavy computational operations required in the mining process, while the cybercriminal collects the reward for the mining. Lately, we saw an increase in malware mining a specific type of cryptocurrency - Monero. Monero's design makes it anonymous and virtually untraceable, causing it to be highly popular among cybercriminals."
Cryptomines are popping up all over the place, including the Pirate Bay. It's no wonder really because the value of cryptocurrency is in the ascendancy, and it's easy to sit back and let someone else's CPU take the strain.
"The attackers spread WaterMiner by illicitly bundling this crypto-mining malware with gaming "mods", which patched computer games to augment or bypass their functionality. The campaigned distributed the malicious software on a Russian-speaking forum," added Minerva.
"For instance, one of the Trojanized mods claimed to "enhance" the popular R-rated game GTA. It was distributed to the victims under the name "Arbuz" - watermelon in Russian, which is why we named the campaign WaterMiner." µ
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