Science/technology

More than 139,000 computers in Vietnam infected with new coinminer virus

BKAV Corporation announced on March 28 that there have been more than 139,000 computers in Vietnam infected with a new coinminer virus called W32.AdCoinMiner. Via the online advertising service Adf.ly and software vulnerability, this virus uses infected computers to generate digital currency without permission.

More than 139,000 computers in Vietnam infected with new coinminer virus

Adf.ly allows its users to shorten their web links to share on social networks or YouTube. However, when clicking on these shortened links, people will have to watch an advertising page before they can access the target website.

 Hackers have taken advantage of this detail to embed their malware right onto the advertising pages to deliver a virus to users’ computers. It is very difficult for cyber victims to be alert against the advertising service since they can still see the needed information from the shortened links.
 After a successful delivery, the virus will take control of infected computers and use them to mine for the cryptocurrency tokens. More importantly, due to having a full control of the computer, this virus can then download more malware from hacker’s server to carry out spyware activities, to steal sensitive information, or even to erase data.

According to Bkav representative, besides taking advantage of Adf.ly, hackers also use SMB weakness to spread this virus on a large scale. SMB vulnerability used to be exploited by malware WannaCry to infect more than 300,000 computers in only a few hours.

Statistics from Bkav shows that over half of the number of computers in Vietnam has this weakness.

Vice President of Bkav Vu Ngoc Son, who is responsible for Anti-malware, shared that as Bkav had predicted at the end of 2017, malware to mine digital currency did bloom right at the beginning of 2018, stating that the lucrative profit from cryptocurrency was so large that hackers would enthusiastically continue to spread this kind of virus more and more in the near future.

Bkav experts warn that users should update their software with the latest patch, along with installing effective anti-virus programs with firewall on their computers to be automatically protected from similar viruses.

 Statistics from Bkav displays that in the first 3 months of 2018, about 1,095 websites in Vietnam, 56 of which are official websites of government bodies and educational institutes, were attacked by hackers.

By TRAN BINH – Translated by Yen Nhi

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