It seems that miscreants are bundling mining trojans with games on some underground sites.
- Grand Theft Auto V
- NBA 2K
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2018
- The Sims 4
- Far Cry 5
- Jurassic World Evolution
Once downloaded, these games use a form of malware known as Crackonosh to create digital currency. Apparently, criminals have already successfully harvested more than $2 million (£1.4 million) in a cryptocurrency known as Monero. Monero is a cryptocurrency used regularly by criminals due to the fact it is harder to trace than many other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Checking several other games about 30% of them are loaded with malware. This is not the false positive for a keygen which many malware tools delete illegally.
The researchers, at Avast, say the “cracked” games are spreading Crackonosh fast and the cyber-security software company is now detecting about 800 cases on computers every day. Estimates vary but an estimated $2 million. Avast also believes the miscreants are Czech from the code strings.
Removal is difficult as the malware disables windows updates and removes security tools. Windows Defender already has been updated to detect and remove the malware. It’s likely more work on securing Windows against this class of malware is needed.