After the recent passing of Kobe Bryant, opportunistic criminals have been taking advantage of this sad event to install cryptojacking malware on devices.
To do this, they have embedded malicious HTML inside a desktop wallpaper of the late NBA star. Once someone downloads the wallpaper to their device, it immediately starts using their computer’s processing power to mine crypto.
The Microsoft Security intelligence team revealed this despicable act via a tweet. In the tweet, they said that when the world was mourning the passing of an NBA legend, criminals were taking advantage of people’s grief to install cryptojacking malware on their devices via a wallpaper of Kobe Bryant.
The sporting legend passed away recently after his helicopter crashed with nine onboard. Thus far, it has not been clarified whether the malware also affects iOS devices. It is also not yet clear how many people fell victim to this attack.
To avoid detection, the miners were using the code to mine Monero (XLM). This is a privacy-focused coin that is quite difficult for authorities to detect, even when using sophisticated tracking tools. Once they mine the coins, it is not known how or where they cash out. Some authorities have called for privacy-focused coins to be banned. However, it is unclear how that would happen, since these coins exist to resist exactly that kind of thing.
Kobe and Crypto
Kobe had an interest in the crypto sector. In 2019, he was a guest at the annual summit of the Tron Foundation. During his appearance, he and Justin Sun discussed blockchain technology. The Tron Foundation recently announced that it would dedicate the 2020 annual summit to Kobe.
Cryptojacking is a type of attack that involves installing malware, which secretly mines crypto using your computer’s resources. If it is installed in a large organization, the organization may notice that its power bill suddenly shoots up.
When it is installed in a personal computer, the first thing you will notice is that your fan is constantly running on high revs, even when you are not doing any major task. Besides that, you might notice that your PC becomes extremely slow. Other problems might arise include your battery being drained too fast if you use a laptop.
How to Avoid Cryptojacking
First, you must always conduct regular updates of all the software installed on your device. Additionally, you must avoid downloading any files from suspicious sources online. This is especially so when it comes to downloading movies and music online. Most of these pirated files contain different types of malware. Some of which can be used to spy on you and steal your financial details while others can be used to carry out a ransomware attack.
One more important step you should take is installing a commercial antivirus on your device. While PCs come with an inbuilt antivirus, it is usually not enough to deal with the numerous emerging threats.
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