Cryptocurrency has caught the attention of cyberattackers, according to new research released by the tech firm Palo Alto Networks Unit 42.
A new malware campaign uses well-established techniques to mine the Monero cryptocurrency. While the campaign is global in scale, it appears that users in Southeast Asia are among the worst-hit, the report said.
The operation that Unit 42 has recently uncovered works to deliver XMRig, a software that is used to mine the Monero cryptocurrency, to victims’ systems without their knowledge or consent.
While XMRig isn’t itself specifically malware, it’s being delivered using malware-delivery techniques without the user’s knowledge and consent just like malware.
The attackers are doing this by using URL shorteners to make XMRig look like other, legitimate, and expected programs, according to the report.
The specific breakout of countries affected and their download counts are as follows:
1. Thailand – 3,545,437
2. Vietnam – 1,830,065
3. Egypt – 1,132,863
4. Indonesia – 988,163
5. Turkey – 665,058
6. Peru – 646,985
7. Algeria – 614,870
8. Brazil – 550,053
9. Philippines – 406,294
10. Venezuela – 400,661