Contracting a virus just by talking
What a time to be alive. One can contract a virus merely by speaking. Yes, the rumors are true.
There’s a virus going around that spreads via the popular social networking platform and messaging app, Facebook messenger.
This virus becomes part of the computer of a potential victim and then uses their computing power to mine cryptocurrencies. As is the case with many viruses, the potential victim can be entirely unaware that they have contracted the virus and continue with their life as if nothing has happened.
Security professionals at several firms like Trend Micro are sounding the alarm on this matter. They’ve stated that one of the potential malware that can be found on the computer, is one called “Digimine.”
Chrome Browsers, a ripe target
This virus is targeted explicitly toward computers that are running the desktop variation of the messaging application when specifically on a Chrome browser.
“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,” said trend micro researchers via a post on their blog.”
Cryptomining by any means
It seems that the rise of cryptocurrencies has given birth to a new phenomenon, the hijacking of people’s computers for mining. The race to mine for digital gold has heated up over the years as the price has increased, leading many to figure out more ways to have more computing power to mine their gold.
The hackers seek to infect as many computers as possible so that they may find their digital El Dorado. Except in this case the potential fortunes are real, digital, but real.
The malware helps the hijacker to have more power to solve complex mathematical problems and unlock blocks on the blockchain and confirm transactions to generate the precious digital gold. Just like Pizarro had to face his various challenges on the Road to El Dorado, miners must meet complex problems, only in the digital realm.
The process of mining can consume a considerable amount of computing power which can have significant costs, and this incentivizes miners of the criminal nature to look for other ways of conducting their mining. The more they can scale up their operations the potentially higher chances they have of successfully obtaining their digital gold.
The aspect of mining is crucial to several coins like Bitcoin because it helps transactions to process more seamlessly and transparently.
Origins of the Virus
It looks as if the virus came from South Korea and traveled to other countries across Asia, Europe, and South America (Thailand, Vietnam, Ukraine, Venezuela).
Facebook comments on the matter
Facebook has stated that they have implemented automated systems to prevent the sort of viruses from being present on their platforms.
Then stated that they would provide anti-virus scan to their users if they suspect issues with their computer.
“If we suspect your computer is infected with malware, we will provide you with a free anti-virus scan from our trusted partners. We share tips on how to stay secure and links to these scanners on facebook.com/help.”
Do not click on links that you are not expecting and watch out for links with strange names.