Researchers are warning crypto enthusiasts about a new form of malware known as Black Squid. They say the malware is especially dangerous and takes over one’s entire computer network to mine cryptocurrency.
Black Squid: The New King of Malware
This makes Black Squid another form of crypto-jacking malware. Crypto-jacking occurs when a hacker invades a person’s computer without their knowledge or permission. They begin using the computer as a source of energy to mine cryptocurrencies, more than likely Monero, which has become the go-to popular cryptocurrency for hackers given its quasi-anonymous properties.
All the while, the person has no idea that their computer has been overtaken and the hacker is raking in a serious profit through the mining while the victim is stuck with high energy bills at the end of each month. Not a pretty or fair sight…
Researchers claim that most of the attacks thus far have taken place in the United States and Thailand. They further state:
The malware also checks the breakpoint registers for hardware breakpoints, specifically for the flags. Hard-coded in, it skips the routine if that flag is at zero, while it seems to proceed with infection if the flag is at one. As of this writing, the code is set at zero, implying that this aspect of the malware routine is still in development.
Black Squid allegedly uses a wide range of deadly exploits to gain control of a network. The malware can enter a computer through these exploits, or through an infected webpage or through “removable network drives.”
It is also capable of what the researchers say are “brute-force attacks, anti-virtualization, anti-debugging and anti-sandboxing techniques.” It also has “worm-like propagation capabilities,” and is easily able to avoid detection. Lastly, it utilizes a tactic that allows it to randomly search IP addresses. As soon as it finds one that’s active, the malware becomes activated.
The good news is that researchers have noticed several skipped routines and coding errors while examining Black Squid, suggesting that it’s still in its early phases. In addition, many of the Black Squid-related techniques can be found in underground forums at no charge.
This Is Happening Too Much
Malware and crypto-related hackings are becoming far too common. Recently, popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance was the victim of a hack that saw more than $40 million in BTC funds disappear practically overnight. While the exchange has since resumed operations, it has commented that the attack “still hurts.”
In addition, SIM-swapping has become somewhat common in recent months, with the latest string of attacks occurring over last week. Many T-Mobile and AT&T customers were targeted, and some reported losses of more than $100,000. AT&T is currently being sued by Michael Terpin, a crypto investor who claims to have lost millions in crypto funds thanks to what he says were the company’s weak security tactics.