Hackers are getting more creative by hiding crypto malware inside audio files. Computer users should never open email attachments from unknown senders, and from now on they also need to reconsider opening WAV audio files. These files might contain concealed malware, which is being executed when the audio file is being played. According to a research report from cyber security firm BlackBerry Cylance the hidden malware in these audio files can stay undetected for virus scanners.
Hackers have hidden a loader component in each WAV file. As soon as the victim plays the sound file, it decodes and executes malicious content. The researchers stated that some of the found audio files produced normal music, while others just contained white noise.
The security firm discovered that the malicious code is often associated with XMRig. This software can mine Monero using the CPU. In addition they found Metasploit, which might give hackers access to the victim’s computer.
Steganography is the practice of concealing a file, message, image, or video within another file, message, image, or video. It’s something we see a lot when it comes to cyber crime.
Hackers have hidden ransomware in something presented as hacking software for the video game Fortnite. Earlier this week researchers discovered that some WordPress plugins actually give hackers access to website servers.
Cryptojacking on the rise
Using the computing power of thousands unknowing computer users to mine cryptocurrencies is one of the biggest upcoming threats in cyber security. When the attacker hijacks computing power to mine cryptocurrencies, we call it crypto jacking.
Last year there was an increase of 4467% in crypto-mining malware. McAfee Labs called crypto-mining malware one of the biggest stories of the year. In the first quarter of 2019 the amount of ransomware attacks grew by 188 percent, while crypto mining grew with another 29 percent.
Also published on Medium.