Crypto scam: Hackers divert $2 million in Monero through new malware for gamers

Crypto scam

TL;DR Breakdown

• Avast researchers have detected new crypto scam malware that targets gamers worldwide, including India.
• The malware has a Crackonosh nickname and is supposed to have a Czech origin.

Grand Theft Auto V, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, and NBA 2K19 gamers are tricked into mining cryptocurrencies, and experts say they may not even know it. The hackers behind this scam have been able to earn more than $2 million in Monero (XMR).

Hackers have now turned their attention to gamers in the quest to make more money and profit from the crypto world. Research by Avast antivirus software claims these scammers are targeting gamers around the world.

The report has highlighted that gamers have widely downloaded games containing malware spread by cybercriminals.

Hackers have made a million-dollar crypto scam

Crypto scam

Avast has investigated and detected over 800 daily cases of crypto scams. Researchers have said that they estimate that cybercriminals have been able to earn close to $2 million in Monero (XMR) using the Crackonosh malware.

Monero is a private cryptocurrency famous for hackers due to its ease of anonymity and increased difficulty to track compared to other digital assets like Bitcoin.

Avast has said that Crackonosh goes unnoticed because the malware has built-in mechanisms that disable security software and updates.

Experts assume that the malware has a Czech origin. Its victims can be worldwide, such as the Philippines, the United States, Brazil, and even India – representing almost 6% of affected people.

Cryptojacking schemes and Crackonosh install malware that is called “miners” on the gamer’s computers. These scams use computer processing power to extract digital currencies.

Crypto scams and gamers

Gamers worldwide are the cybercriminal’s target; this is possible because gaming devices carry the most powerful graphics chips and processors in the PC segment.

Cryptojacking is a new get-rich-quick scheme. Crackonosh is a crypto scam working through malware, and adds to the number of cryptojacking schemes that have increased in number over time. Security experts have detected on the internet these scams have grown during the year.

Antivirus and cybersecurity software company Kaspersky warned that cryptocurrency scams were rising earlier this month. The company has commented that it had seen about 432,171 encounters with malware between January and March 2021. About 200,045 of these encounters happened only in March.

CISCO scam and malware researchers found this malware embedded in-game cheat software this month. NTT, the Japanese technology service provider, has claimed that Cryptojacking malware already accounts for almost 41% of all malware in 2020.

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Written by Carisbel Guaramato

An avid content creator for over 4 years, Carisbel spends her time on blogs and technology news. She honed her skills as a social communicator and now finds crypto and blockchain news events worldwide for transmission through Cryptopolitan's neutral and incisive way.