Hackers Hides Cryptojacking Malware in Fake Adobe Flash Updates
A new research from cyber security company Palo Alto Networks reports signs of crypto-miner malware in the fake Adobe Flash updates.
Although not a new hacking tactic, the latest analysis shows a significant spike in Adobe Flash updaters which can go on and hide in the background and do damage to Windows systems.
Cryptojacking occurs when an attacker uses a malicious software program to gain access to another user’s computer. Instead of stealing credit card data or passwords, the hacker’s goal is to take control of the device and redirect the machine’s computing power to mine cryptocurrency.
However, this latest iteration is proving to be noticeably more efficient. The implication of this unpleasant scenario is that a potential victim may not notice anything out of the ordinary while an XMRig cryptocurrency miner or other unwanted program is quietly running in the background of the victim’s Windows computer.
The fake updates are delivered to victims via web pop-up windows and use authentic-looking branding to increase the chances of a download.
If a victim clicks through to the download the user gets a warning about installing software from an unknown publisher — something that should be a security red flag. But if this warning is ignored, the cryptocurrency miner is secretly downloaded onto the system, with nothing in the way of prompts to give away that this action is taking place.
Writing in a post exposing the scheme, Unit 42 threat intelligence analyst Brad Duncan said:
“As early as August 2018, some samples impersonating Flash updates have borrowed pop-up notifications from the official Adobe installer. These fake Flash updates install unwanted programs like an XMRig cryptocurrency miner, but this malware can also update a victim’s Flash Player to the latest version.”
While the number of users infected by the XMRig is unclear, the researcher said the indication of the infection in the computer is “likely taking a pretty serious performance hit right now.
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