Dark Web Data Theft: 500,000 PCs Fall Victim to Smominru Malware


If your PC has been behaving abnormally lately and no amount of help has helped restore it to normalcy, then you have a big reason to worry. Your computer could be mining Monero without your knowledge!

Apparently, crypto jackers are using an advanced malware known as Smominru to stealthily mine Monero off innocent people’s computers. And not only does it mine the coins; it also harvests all the important data stored in the computer in what’s now regarded as another frontier in illicit data mining.

The practice is now so rife, as reported by ZDNet, that already over half a million computers form the growing web of PCs helping them to extract the privacy-oriented cryptocurrency silently. And the number is increasing.

The Practice Later Gives Way to a More Widespread Data Theft

But how the malware operates is so sophisticated that you could think it is one of the common ones. It works behind the scenes, hurting the computer’s normal operations, without the user’s knowledge. Basically, it exploits the CPU power to mine the valuable XRM coins before sending them to specialized wallets.

The damage doesn’t end there. The crypto jackers use Smominru’s data-harvesting module to harvest valuable information stored on the PC. The data is then sold for profit on the dark web, according to the Carbon Black researchers whom ZDNet cited.

The data sold may be then used on a large scale access market where the buyers use them to remotely access the same computers again. The findings seemingly suggest that the PCs end up being victims of widespread attacks that notably dent more harm on carefully-selected hosts and companies.

Monero Is the Hackers’ Favorite

It isn’t a coincidence that these crypto jackers are targeting Monero. The coin, despite its building principles of fungibility, privacy, and decentralization, is a darling to the hackers.

In fact, so attractive is the coin that up to 4% of the total XRM in circulation right now is attributed to these hackers. Its well-known ASIC-resistance, combined with the fact that it is easily mined when one has the ‘good old’ CPUs and GPUs enables Smominru to thrive. The hackers only use a custom version of XMRig that’s embedded in the malware to get the job done.

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