Global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab on Wednesday warned against pirated software as these may be used by cybercriminals to “mine” cryptocurrencies and ultimately generate profits. In a statement, Kaspersky said cybercriminals have developed free pirated software which includes “miners” or the programs that are used to generate cryptocurrencies. Once the program is installed, miners then start to silently operate on the victim’s computer and generate crypto-coins for the cybercriminals. “Experts also have found that some miners contained a special feature that allowed the user to remotely change a wallet number, pool, or miner,” Kaspersky said. “This means criminals could set another destination for the cryptocurrency at any time and manage their earnings by distributing mining flows between wallets or even make the victim’s computer work for another mining pool,” it added. According to the company’s Malware Analyst Alexander Kolesnikov, victims could also suffer from higher electricity bills as the program is a very resource-heavy and time-consuming operation. “Although not considered malicious, mining software reduces the device’s system performance, which inevitably affects the user experience in general,” he said. “Plus it increases the victim’s electricity bill — not a major outcome of being a victim of this fraud scheme, but still an unpleasant one,” Kolesnikov added. Kolesnikov urged the public to refrain from downloading pirated software. “Of course, some people might be OK with the knowledge that an anonymous person is becoming richer at their expense, but we advise users to resist these attempts as even though it is not being conducted with standard malicious software, it’s still a fraudulent activity,” he said. To avoid being part of a mining network, Kaspersky has advised the public to download only legal software and install a reliable security system. Source: GMA News – December 27, 2017 ========================================================================================= Aptus Global Solutions strives to tailor fit outsourcing solutions designed to suit the business requirements across various industries globally.