With the booming value of cryptocurrency, many hackers and nefarious actors are rolling out schemes to unwittingly trick regular web users into mining for them. The latest scheme to dupe people into mining cryptocurrency is taking advantage of Facebook Messenger via some slick malware.
The malware being distributed via Messenger is mining Monero, an alternative to the wildly valuable and volatile Bitcoin. Security researchers from Trend Micro are calling the malware Digmine and are saying that it could also help perpetrators to take over a Facebook account. The Digmine malware is disguised to look like a video file being shared over messenger.
The only way the malware can spread is by the desktop version of Messenger when used on Google Chrome. Opening the video file on Messenger running on any other platform won’t result in an infection. The malware can give hackers control of your account which can result in slowing of your computer and the ability for the hackers to target people on your friends list.
"If the user’s Facebook account is set to log in automatically, Digmine will manipulate Facebook Messenger in order to send a link to the file to the account’s friends," the researchers said. "The abuse of Facebook is limited to propagation for now, but it wouldn’t be implausible for attackers to hijack the Facebook account itself down the line."
Hackers who are hijacking devices to mine cryptocurrency are becoming more and more common as the value of the digital currencies grow rapidly in the current market. There are hackers targeting just about every platform out there with the Loapi Android malware enslaving smartphones to mine cryptocurrency and the Coinhive monero mining malware infecting Google Play. Earlier this month, a report surfaced that claimed over a billion video streamers were unwittingly mining cryptocurrency. Some browsers are trying to block these new attacks, as Opera 50 has beefed up its own security to help prevent Monero cryptojacking.