Call of Duty players were hit with crypto-mining malware with hackers deceiving gamers by promising victories according to the cybersecurity researchers at Activision so let’s read more in our latest cryptocurrency news today.
The researchers at Activision discovered a new malware program that installs hidden crypto miners on the users’ PCs by posing as trainers for Call of Duty Warzone according to the company’s reports:
“In March of 2020, a threat actor posted on multiple hacking forums advertising a free, ‘newbie friendly’, and ‘effective’ method [to cheat], for spreading a remote access trojan (RAT)—malware that primarily does what it implies, provides remote access for a threat actor to the target it is delivered to.”
NEWS: Hackers hid malware inside Call of Duty Warzone cheats, according to Activision. pic.twitter.com/OErNDAlMOG
— Call of Duty Warzone News (@BattleRoyaleCoD) March 31, 2021
The RAT was presented as a “trainer” which is a program that allows players to activate various cheats for the battle royale multiplayer shooter Call of Duty: Warzone. What the gamers actually downloaded was a “Dropper” piece of software which is designed to download and install various malware:
“The dropper examined in this report, ‘Cod Dropper v0.1,’ can be customized to install other, more destructive, malware onto the targets’ machines.”
The hackers advertised the malware as an undetected cheat for COD WARZONE and published a few YouTube videos with more instructions that urged the gamers to disable their security software and give the RAT some high system privileges:
“The actor’s suggested method for convincing the victims to disable their protections is made significantly easier by advertising their RAT as a video game cheat. It is common practice when configuring a cheat program to run it with the highest system privileges.”
Among the other malware, the dropper installed a few hidden crypto miners on the victims’ systems but the researchers didn’t specify what assets were they producing. The hackers’ targeted audience was chosen intentionally and because CoD is a demanding game in terms of system requirements, there’s a high chance that the victims would have powerful graphic cards that will make crypto mining faster and effective:
“While this method is rather simplistic, it is ultimately a social engineering technique that leverages the willingness of its target (players that want to cheat) to voluntarily lower their security protections and ignore warnings about running potentially malicious software.”
The Call of Duty players were targeted this time as the crypto-related scams or malicious activities are on the rise this year. another group of hackers, on the other hand, targeted supercomputers in Europe to mine XMR in 2020.