The imagination and skills of those who want to obtain illegal financial or other benefits through cyberspace are truly inexhaustible.
A new wide-scale scam has been uncovered with victims the players of popular videogames such as “Grand Theft Auto V”, “NBA 2K19” and “Pro Evolution Soccer 2018″.
Normally, in order to play one of these videogames one will have to pay a certain amount to get them either in physical form (e.g. DVD) or —more commonly in recent years— to download them to his computer, from a website that has the relevant rights.
Some extremely capable hackers have put in place a truly evil plan: The hackers initially created a program that they placed in the files of various popular videogames. They then created various forums in the videogames player communities to which they offered these popular games for free! Understandably, thousands of fans of these games rushed to get the unexpected gift they thought some “Robin Hood of the Internet” would give them!
However, when they downloaded the game to their computers, the program was automatically activated, which started running secretly “behind” the videogame. This program called “Crackonosh” initially disables antivirus programs that may be installed on the infiltrated computer. Then, without the computer owner realizing it, the program uses the computing power of the system to create cryptocurrencies that naturally end up to the hackers.
But the process of creating cryptocurrencies is extremely “painful” for computers but also energy-intensive; so when at some point the victims of hackers began to notice delays in the operation of the computer, damage to some parts of it and, of course, an unexplained increase in electricity consumption when the bill came, the fraud was revealed.
So far around 150,000 victims have been identified in about 12 countries around the world but the number is believed to be multiple.
The prosecuting authorities, who took action, tracked down some of the perpetrators after discovering their digital wallets in which the cryptocurrencies produced on the players’ computers were registered.
It is believed that the creators of the program are Czech hackers, since the word “Crackonosh” means “spirit of the mountain” in Czech.
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