Facebook Messenger users are being warned about a new virus that uses infected computers to mine cryptocurrency.
According to researchers at Trend Micro said “Digimine” is targeting as many machines as possible, in order to earn monero – an alternative to bitcoin – for its creators.
The malware is designed to look like a video file and only works through the desktop version of Messenger on Google Chrome, if the file is opened on another device it won’t work as designed.
This may lull some users into a false sense of security as it will allow the hackers to takeover Facebook accounts to target other users.
“If the user’s Facebook account is set to log in automatically, Digmine will manipulate Facebook Messenger in order to send a link to the file to the account’s friends,” the researchers said.
“The abuse of Facebook is limited to propagation for now, but it wouldn’t be implausible for attackers to hijack the Facebook account itself down the line.”
There is maybe little surprise that cryptocurrencies are targeted due to bitcoin’s dramatic rise in value over the last few months. The interest has definitely increased meaning that more computers are targeted.
“The increasing popularity of cryptocurrency mining is drawing attackers back to the mining botnet business,” said Trend Micro.
“And like many cybercriminal schemes, numbers are crucial — bigger victim pools equate to potentially bigger profits. The fact that they’re piggybacking on popular platforms such as social media to spread their malware is unsurprising.”