Starting from 2018 cyber threat landscape shifted from Ransomware to Cryptocurrency mining attacks, attackers targeted a number of web portals, Android devices, and a number of servers.

Cryptocurrency Mining Attack Vectors transforming the cyber threat landscape, the significance of cryptocurrencies drawing the attention of cybercriminals.

Ransomware authors started regenerating their code by adding cryptocurrency miners as it becomes their strategy to maximize their profit.

Security researchers from Trend Micro uncovered a cryptocurrency miner dubbed XiaoBa which is similar to the XiaoBa ransomware.

Researchers believe that ” the ransomware code was repurposed, adding new capabilities to make it a more destructive cryptocurrency miner”.

Cryptocurrency Mining attacks Infection Vector

The file infector with cryptocurrency malware is destructive, since it intact the application and will allow it to perform its original functions. Also, it injects cryptocurrency miner Coinhive mining script into the HTML and htm files.

Researchers said “Based on our analysis, this infector and the ransomware RANSOM_XIAOBA (first seen in October 2017) have distinct similarities, with multiple comparable code structures. One possibility is that it was specifically repurposed to spread coin miners”.

The malware miner redirects the URL of forensic tools and AV engines by modifying the host files and it searches files with the following extension(.exe, .com, .scr, .pif) for infection. Also, it delete’s the files with the following extensions such as .gho, .iso.

Infecting the file First Time
Infecting the same file Second Time
Infecting the same file Third Time

It infects all the file regardless of size to makes things worse and the malware will not leave any traces of infection so the file subject to infect multiple times. This way of infection concedes a lot of process memory and occupies huge disk space.

The malware consumes huge system resources since it is a cryptocurrency miner and unwantedly it consumes more disk space.


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