The hacker modified the popular apps in a way that the users who downloaded and installed them on their computers, were simultaneously installing the hidden cryptocurrency miner.
As the National Police of Ukraine informs, the cyberpolice officers in Donetsk region and the investigators of the Central Department of police have exposed a cybercriminal who acted from autumn 2017. A 32-year-old Mariupol citizen downloaded malware on his PC and used it for the concealed cryptocurrency mining via the popular applications.
Possessing some programming experience, a man modified malware and distributed it in the network. The criminal named the virus files after apps, popular among the Internet users
- states the website of the National Police in Donetsk region.
After the users opened the infected files on their PCs, a hacker received the access to the computers’ processors. Cyberthief used the computing power to mine cryptocurrency which was afterward exchanged for hryvnia and transferred to his bank account.
There is no information on what exactly cryptocurrency the hacker was mining. However, taking into consideration the epidemic of harmful scripts for Monero mining that has already affected hundreds of thousands of devices all over the world, we can presume the same anonymous cryptocurrency in this case.
The police were preparing the sting for several months, recording the illegal activity of the hacker. During the search, the police withdrew a PC with nearly 70 virus files.
The actions of the suspect fall upon the Criminal Rule 361 “Unauthorized tampering into the work of computing machines, automated systems, computer networks, or telecommunication networks” and paragraph 361-1 (Creation of the harmful technical or programming means with the aim of use, distribution, or sale, as well as their distribution or sale) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Police are investigating the victims of the hacker’s activity.
In January, the head of Ukrainian cyberpolice Serhii Demediuk called to defining the cryptocurrency status. Since the cryptocurrency circulation is not regulated in Ukraine, the criminals actively use them in various fraudulent schemes. At the same time, ordinary citizens often become the victims of fraudsters during the cryptocurrency operations, lacking the protection of the law enforcement bodies.
The Ukrainian government is working on the new law project “On the use of the distributed ledger technology and legal status of cryptocurrencies and other tokens in Ukraine,” which should finally fix the status of the cryptocurrencies and tokens.