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Security Awareness

The XMRig Trojan Virus Sneaks onto Computer System

How the XMRig Trojan Virus Sneaks onto Your Computer System

It’s difficult to know what is real and what is fake in the cyber world because most computer users are ignorant of ever-evolving threats. It’s not their fault because professional cybercriminals can mask their viruses, like Trojans. The XMRig CPU Miner is a Trojan Horse that many unsuspecting users install. It hijacks the user’s computer and uses its resources to mine digital currency. This includes:

  • Bitcoin
  • Monero
  • Dashcoin
  • DarkNetCoin

Our experts are here to inform you about the best ways to notice this virus’s presence and what to do if you accidentally install it on your system.

How to Recognize XMRig         

Because the XMRig CPU Miner is a Trojan, it has been made to look like an Adobe Flash Player update, which is an often-targeted software program. XMRig has an NVIDIA GPU and an AMD GPU version. Within the last year, cybercriminals have tweaked this Trojan virus, allowing the user to update their Adobe Flash Player to further propel the illusion that it is the real deal.

Thanks to Palo Alto Networks’ security researchers who investigated the virus, users can determine several details that give XMRig away:

  • The installer pop-up browser will say the publisher is unknown when it should say the publisher is Adobe Flash.
  • The user’s computer will suddenly become slow because XMRig uses 70% of a computer’s CPU and draws power from the graphics cards.
  • The user’s computer will run hot over long periods of time, which will reduce the CPU’s life.
  • Users may notice the Wise program on their computer and the Winserv.exe. file.

The Palo Alto researchers have not zeroed in on the URLs that lead to users accidentally downloading the virus, but there are many ways to prevent against it and other viruses.

How to Protect Your Computer System

Although Adobe announced Flash’s end-of-life and that Microsoft would officially remove it by the end of 2020, businesses are still using it and run the risk of installing the XMRig Trojan.

Here are some methods of preventing the virus from entering your system:

  • Run a trusted anti-virus program with scheduled scans and continually update the software.
  • Use web and email filtering to block malicious URLs.
  • Make your staff aware of security prompts and the risks of using unknown sources for downloads and running programs.
  • Go directly to Adobe’s website for updates.

Why Businesses Use Flash

Generally, businesses use outdated proprietary software because updating requires time and funding they don’t have. This is how businesses develop vulnerabilities. Flash is useful in ad creation because it allows companies to track the number of clicks a particular ad receives. Thus far, everyone can use Flash to easily watch videos and play music, but some users are unable to use the alternative, which is HTML5. Businesses don’t like HTML5 because it’s harder to protect delivered content from the end user. Flash Media Server has a DRM functionality that is built-in, allowing users to stream any content while protecting the URL and preventing data from being cached.

Businesses have critical information, whether it’s financial or private, so they need to put the strongest safeguards in place. Trust our Orenda Security experts to use their diverse knowledge to find your system’s vulnerabilities through penetration testing, dynamic testing, and other useful practices. Contact us today at Info@orendasecurity.com or request a quote!


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