This Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Targets FB Messenger Users

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It’s the old adage of the internet. Never click a link you received from someone you don’t know. Okay, we’re good. But what if it’s from someone we know?

A new malware has been targetting Facebook messenger users. Disguised as a video file under the name video_xxxx(dot)zip, any computer that runs this malware called Digimine will get infected.

Once installed, it will download a lot of things. One of them is Monero cryptocurrency miner. The original version of the malware is gone as Facebook has already caught it. However, newer versions exist with newer file names and more encryption to hide from frying bots.

What is Mining?

This is probably not the best article to introduce cryptocurrency mining. Computers are used to create a coin, such as bitcoin. We call this process “mining”. Why not use other terms? Well, you probably know how hard it is to mine for gold right? That’s the idea. Because you can’t just mine bitcoin with your mid-range laptop or computer. You need an extremely powerful computer to mine these coins.

So if it needs a powerful computer, does that mean they won’t be able to mine as much if the malware gets installed on your budget laptop? Correct, we can look at it that way. But think about the hundreds or thousands of unsuspecting computers that will have this malware accidentally installed. A single monero coin is worth 0.02 btc as of December 22, 2017. That is worth $259 or ₱13K. For me, that’s still a lot of money.

What if I click the link on my phone?

The malware seems to be only affecting desktop users at the moment.

Tips to avoid this cryptocurrency mining malware scam

Never click a link you received from someone you don’t know

Chances are, it is a virus.

If you downloaded it and it looked suspicious, do not RUN it.

Most of the time, your computer can’t get infected unless you run it. If you have already downloaded the file, the 2nd best chance to avoid getting infected is to not run it.

Always run a virus check on anything you download on the Internet.

Actually, this should be a standard for anything you download, even a document.

If you are interested in investing in cryptocurrency, don’t trust a link that says it will (or he will) do it for you.

This is the thing I observe. Some people will just give money to someone else and let that someone else invest it for them. In order to get engaged in the world of bitcoins and cryptocurrency, you need to educate yourself about it. There are plenty of resources of the internet to start with, like here at Bitpinas. Invest your own money yourself. Invest also only what you can afford to lose.

Sources: Gizmodo, Trend Micro

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