If you or someone you share a computer with likes to download “cracked” pirate copies of popular computer games, you’re at risk of being hijacked by a particular type of malware.
Spread via torrents and direct downloads of pirated games, Crackonosh hijacks a computer to convert it into a crypto mining rig. Roughly 220,000 cases have been reported worldwide, with estimates that the scam has netted over $2 million in Monera cryptocurrency for its unknown authors. While versions of Crackonosh have been in circulation since 2018, the recent spike in cases has put it on security researchers’ radars.
“This malware typically is distributed via torrents and executables geared toward gamers,” said Bryan Hornung, CEO of Xact IT Solutions, in a direct message to Lifewire. “Gamers’ systems typically have more processing power, which generates more revenue for the cybercriminals.”