“Malvertising” Hacks Computers For Crypto-Mining

Crime, News | September 15, 2017 By:

PC magazine has reported malware writers have developed a way to use JavaScript files that can mine cryptocurrency. The files are delivered via advertisements.

Security vendor ESET was the first to discover the problem,   which it calls JS/CoinMiner.A. The firm claims that hijackers buy traffic from advertising networks and use that to distribute the malicious advertisements (known as malvertising). Once viewed with a browser, the victim’s computer resources are used to mine cryptocurrency. The advertisements target video streaming and in-browser gaming sites.

The malvertising is targeting ZCash, Feathercoin, Litecon and Monero. Bitcoin requires dedicated hardware, and thus is not a target, the magazine said.

ESET has noticed the activity in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Moldova, with Russia being the prime target.

The adverts seem likely to spread further afield and head west, though, due to the potential to tap millions more PCs and generate more cryptocurrency.

ESET offers protection against JS/CoinMiner.A through purchase of its security suite software. As an option, users can also stop JavaScript from running on their computers.