Over 111,000 users have been infected with crypto-mining malware posing as a desktop application for Google Translate.
The malware campaign, which is linked to a Turkish-speaking entity called Nitrokad, involves spreading malware via free software hosted on popular websites such as Softpedia and Uptodown.
After successful installation, the malware provides an executable update to the hard disk, which triggers a four-stage attack sequence, each stage paving the way for the next until the malware is finally deployed.
After successful execution, a connection is established to a remote command-and-control C2 server to retrieve a configuration file to initiate the coin mining activity.
“What’s most interesting to me is the fact that the malicious software is so popular yet went under the radar for so long. The attacker can easily choose to alter the final payload of the attack, changing it from a crypto miner to, say, ransomware or banking trojan,” says Maya Horowitz, vice president of research at Check Point.
Victims of the malicious crypto-mining campaign are in various countries, including the U.K., the U.S., Sri Lanka, Greece, Israel, Germany, Turkey, Cyprus, Australia, Mongolia and Poland.
The sources for this piece include an article in TheHackerNews.