Pirated games are being targeted by malware to mine cryptocurrency.

Earlier this year, security agency Kaspersky said that it had observed over 200,000 instances of malware in the first quarter of 2021 itself. This is probably due to the increase in the cryptocurrency sector in recent times. An expert said it could be because of the increase in the value of bitcoin and other crypto, these malware are finding its way onto different computers. Researchers have also stated that these malware could already be found in other countries such as Brazil, India, UK and the US. 

Avast, an Anti-virus company, say that the malware is growing at such a rapid pace that it could be 800 cases per day and has already affected 22000 computers already. Gamers are being targeted due to them having faster and better powered processing units, which is required for the malware to function. Avast has also stated that the hackers are hiding these malware into games like PES 2018, GTA V and NBA 2K19. 

The danger about this malware is that it can disable new windows updates and security software and uninstall the apps that facilitate them. It may overheat and overuse the computer and even has the potential to slow down the user’s computer by a significant margin. 

Several high profile companies have been the target for cyberattacks this year and now the hackers are targeting gamers, due to the superior equipment possessed by them. According to Global Threat Intelligence Report for 2021, cryptojacking frauds and malware like these accounted for 41% of all the detected malware in 2021. The hackers have reportedly also made $2 million using the coin Monero (XMR) through this scheme. 

The malware is called Crackonosh and is reportedly of Czech Origin. They have targeted the Monero coin because it is famous for its feature of being very difficult to trace compared to other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin. 

The efforts to start catching these hackers have begun and according to Avast, Crackonosh has not been caught yet due to its ability to infect the device and uninstall the security updates and software. After this incident, it is clear that there is a need to be extra careful and safe from the digital scam that the hackers conduct online, especially for the hardcore gamers who possess heavy equipment.

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