Detected: Crypto Mining Malware Hidden in Images of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift mining malware

New malicious crypto scheme detected: an ongoing crypto mining malware designed as a photo of Taylor Swift. This crypto mining botnet, which has infected millions of devices across the globe, is reportedly shared in a jpeg file of the award-winning singer Taylor Swift.

A recent study by the UK-based cybersecurity firm Sophos shows that the malware’s operators are leveraging a tech method tagged steganography, which allows them to hide malicious software inside legitimate files. So, basically, you think you have an innocent image file, when, in fact, it has been corrupted with a virus.

By employing this technique, the operators of the crypto mining malware are able to hide the malware in a photo of the American singer Taylor Swift. Sophos fears the malware has been around for many years. Due to its deceptive nature, you may not know it is right there in your PC until it carries out all the commands it is set to in order to exploit your computer’s CPU undetected.

Crypto Mining Botnet Infecting Millions

Findings from Sophos show that the crypto mining botnet was first spotted in 2017. Since then, it is believed to have infected millions of devices across the world, targeting mostly Windows operating systems. The report also added that the malware targets virtually everything including ssh, WMI, MySQL, IPC, servers in CCTV camera storage, MS-SQL, Telnet, Remote Desktop (RDP) and even Linux.

Credited as the largest crypto mining malware out there, this botnet has reportedly infected more than 525,000 Windows systems across the world. To achieve this much success in a short time, the criminals must be infecting approximately 4,7000 systems every day.

So far, the criminal masterminds have amassed over 2.3 million USD worth of Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency, with the daily income capped at around $300 – based on the current market price of Monero. As AllStocks Crypto News reported previously, even Monero’s own website was infected by cypto malware recently.

Sophos states in the report:

“There’s a pretty good chance everyone who reads this story will have had some degree of interaction with a botnet we call MyKings (and others call DarkCloud or Smominru), whether you know it or not. For the past couple of years, this botnet has been a persistent source of nuisance-grade opportunistic attacks against the underpatched, low-hanging fruit of the internet. It’s probably knocking at your firewall right now. They certainly wouldn’t be the first.”

Cryptocurrency has been around for about eleven years now. And in this time we have seen crypto crimes rise and re-rise to new all-time high every single year. From crypto malware to money laundering and whatnot, crypto crimes have continued to lurk around the global crypto community like a plaque. Worse, statistics show these criminals keep getting smarter by the day.

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