Malware attacks have become common in the cyberspace as hackers become more aggressive in their bid to access the public’s computer systems. There are several forms of malware attacks, and each of these has a different agenda on its hands. The crypto industry has been affected by malware attacks which are being used to steal crypto funds from users and exchanges.
Kaspersky, one of the leading security software providers, has identified crypto-mining malware that is being spread through pirated textbooks. The malware exists on sites where these books are uploaded and downloaded. The malware is delivered through WinLNK.Agent.gen, an agent that has been in existence since 2011. The agent has become more profitable for the hackers behind the malware attacks, and this has led to the increased spread of attacks.
Malware Disguised as Books
The malware is disguised as a book or an essay which is placed in a file that will allow a malicious hacker to control the system of the person who downloads the file. The executable file carries a command and control system that comes with several other prices of malware. These pieces of malware include crypto miners and different kinds of spam delivery systems.
According to Kaspersky, there have been about 233,000 cases of malware-infected essays and 122,000 cases of attacks disguised as textbooks. Over 30,000 of these files have been downloaded and opened this year alone, and this shows the extent of malware attacks executed through this particular piece of malware.
The hackers place malware in books and essays that are hard to find. Many students do not have to look for common books because there are several libraries and online websites where they can legally and easily access these books. When students need to obtain rare and expensive books, they turn to illegal sites, and this is where hackers target these users.
Malware is also delivered through download links and ads that purport to be PDFs or ePub files when they are malware files. The need to save money through pirating books instead of buying them from legitimate sites may end up costing one when they become the victim of a malware attack.
Acquisition of Crypto Funds through Malware Attacks
Cryptocurrencies are hard to trace, and once one loses their holdings through a malware attack, it is hard to recover the lost funds. Hackers steal from individuals or crypto trading exchanges after they gain access to the system through malware attacks.
The North Korean government has been accused of using such attacks to steal funds from exchanges around the world and use the cryptocurrency to fund clandestine operations. The United Nations is currently investigating the country because of these allegations.