Microsoft Finds Cryptocurrency Mining Script in Kobe Bryant's Photo

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Fri, 01/31/2020 - 05:59
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Alex Dovbnya
Cybercriminals use the death of basketball star Kobe Bryant to infect your computer with cryptomining malware
Microsoft Finds Cryptocurrency Mining Script in Kobe Bryant's Photo
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Cybercriminals do not hesitate to cash in on Kobe Bryant's tragic death. Microsoft Security Intelligence has found a cryptocurrency mining script in the wallpaper photo of the late basketball player.  

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Yes, wallpapers now spread mining malware 

Bad actors use steganography, the ancient practice of concealing a file inside another file, in order to hide cryptomining code inside the photos of famous people.    

Multiple celebrities have fallen victims to such an elaborate cryptomining scam. As reported by U.Today, mining botnet MyKingz was recently found in an image of American pop star Taylor Swift. Her picture contained an EXE file that, if executed, could use the resources of your computer to mine privacy coin Monero (XMR). Hackers also hid malware in a photo of Oscar-nominated actress Scarlett Johansson

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Monero (XMR) Was Stealthily Mined by Eight Cryptojacking Apps That Have Been Already Removed from Microsoft Store

Why celebrity photos? 

While it might be confusing why hackers would use the photos of celebrities, this is actually one of the easiest ways to get crypto-mining programs installed on your computer. Very few antivirus products are able to detect malicious code in authentic image files, which plays right into the hands of hackers.   

This is not just fun and games for cybercriminals. Cryptojacking remains a very lucrative business with MyKingz creators alone earning about $2.3 mln. 

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at alex.dovbnya@u.today.