Warning: The free Windows 10 version of the hit game Grand Theft Auto 5 will harm your computer.
Hackers are distributing free downloads of popular games like Grand Theft Auto 5 as part of a new malware operation.
Users of Windows 10 are being cautioned about a new malware threat that has infected tens of thousands of computers. Free copies of major games like Grand Theft Auto 5, Pro Evolution Soccer, and NBA 2K are being distributed, according to security experts, and are infected with the Crackonosh malware. Cybercriminals employ the malicious software to silently mine cryptocurrency on a victim’s computer.
Scammers have already made almost £1.4 million from the malware campaign, according to a research by antivirus experts Avast.
According to Avast researchers, the corrupted free games are spreading quickly, with 800 cases of the fraud being spotted every day.
The actual scale of the campaign is likely to be bigger because Avast only identifies the Crackonosh malware on devices that have its anti-virus software installed.
To protect itself, Crackonosh not only infects Windows 10 devices to mine bitcoin, but it also disables Windows 10 updates and uninstalls security software.
This, however, can expose Windows PCs or laptops to a variety of different risks.
“[We] have uncovered a new malware we’re naming “Crackonosh” in part because of some possible hints that the malware author may be Czech,” Avast’s Daniel Benes said in a blog post explaining their discoveries.
“As part of its anti-detection and anti-forensics techniques, Crackonosh is delivered alongside illicit, cracked copies of popular software and searches for and disables several popular antivirus programs.”
Grand Theft Auto 5, NBA 2K 19, Far Cry 5, The Sims 4, Euro Truck Simulator 2, Jurassic World Evolution, Fallout 4 Game of the Year Edition, Call of Cthulhu, PES 2018, and We Happy Few were among the supposed free games discovered by Avast.
If Crackonosh is installed on a victim’s computer, it can run in the background, slowing down the machine, wearing down components while cryptocurrency is mined, and raising the victim’s electricity bill.
Avast provided a list of measures impacted Windows 10 users should do to thoroughly uninstall Crackonosh.
Before Windows Defender can be reinstalled, this includes uninstalling scheduled tasks, files from c:Windowssystem32, and other files.
The Avast website has a step-by-step guide for eradicating Crackonosh from compromised devices.
Crackonosh has been discovered, according to Avast. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”