PowerGhost Is An Innovative Crypto Mining Malware, Mostly Targeting Corporate Networks

Unauthorized crypto mining malware recently discovered by Kaspersky Labs is affecting corporate networks worldwide. The computer security firm said that so far the most affected countries by this virus are India, Brazil, Colombia, and Turkey. The cryptojacking malware was named PowerGhost because of the difficulty of detecting it, an advantageous feature for unauthorized mining malware.

The firm’s experts described that, once it is sneaked onto the victim’s device, it accentuates its privileges through vulnerabilities in the operating system and begins to mine cryptocurrencies in the background.

Among the countries with the highest incidence of this virus attack are Brazil and India, with 200 to 290 users affected, followed by Colombia and Turkey, where between 110 and 200 users were infected, according to SecureList data.

Like any other crypto mining malware, PowerGhost uses processing power from infected devices and uses it to decipher the puzzle that validates a block of transactions with cryptos. This process, known as cryptojacking, requires a large number of computational resources and can cause overheating and lag the affected devices.

PowerGhost crypto mining malware is mostly focusing on corporate networks

In this particular case, the virus seems to be focused on corporate networks, so it also attacks server performance and accelerates wear and tear, generating replacement costs.

Kaspersky Labs warns that, compared to most malware of this type, PowerGhost is more difficult to detect because of it doesn’t need any files to work. That means it does not download malicious files to the devices it infects, making it easier to operate without being noticed.

Moreover, experts identified a version of this crypto mining malware that contains a tool for DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks which can paralyze networks and servers.

A technical analysis of this malware published by Secure List shows that cybercriminals are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to achieve their goals. They believe that the devs of PowerGhost went further by using “file-less” techniques to deploy the cryptojacking software on their victims’ systems.

It seems that the growing popularity and the increasing prices of cryptocurrencies have made cybercriminals to innovate new malicious crypto mining software. As the data shows, the cryptojacking malware programs are gradually replacing the ransomware Trojans.

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About the Author: Anna Galvez

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