Hackers Infecting Pirate Games to Get Crypto-Rich

Game piracy and hacking are the latest combination of cybercrime. Avast researchers recently discovered that hackers tricked gamers of pirate games into infecting their PCs with Crackonosh, a malware used for crypto mining.

Once gamers download these games, Crackonosh secretly performs cryptocurrency mining and produces digital money. According to the investigation, cybercriminals have already earned over $2 million with the said attack.

Gamers who downloaded free versions of video games, such as Jurassic World Evolution, Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry V, NBA 2K19, and The Sims 4 were targeted by hackers to gain millions of dollars worth of a type of cryptocurrency called “Moreno.”

Once the malware infects a computer, it performs actions to protect itself, thus harming the PC. It can include disabling Windows updates and uninstalling security software, which slows and wears down the computer due to overuse and even increases electricity bills.

Avast experts believe that the malware’s creator may be from Czech because Crackonosh means “mountain spirit” in Czech mythology.

Reports also show that this is not the first time that hackers have targeted gamers. In March, Cisco-Talos discovered cheat software inside multiple games.

In another incident just early last month, the G Data Software team also found multiple hacking attacks that targeted gamers on the Steam platform.

Gamers are highly engaged in their hobby and spend vast amounts of money to sustain it. Cybercriminals take this opportunity to make them their resource to grow their own economy.

Cybersecurity company Akamai revealed that there had been a 340% increase in cyber attacks on gamers and gaming brands since 2019.

Many of these attacks were stolen gaming accounts due to their high value. Hackers then sell them to the hacking community.

Akamai researchers state that they are continuously testing the video gaming defenses daily and, most of the time, hourly based on how the criminals are probing for vulnerabilities to breach servers and obtain information.

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