A new, very dangerous cryptocurrency miner virus has been detected by security researchers. The malware, called AcruxMiner can infect target victims using a variety of ways. The main idea behind the AcruxMiner miner is to employ cryptocurrency miner activities on the computers of victims in order to obtain Monero tokens at victims’ expense. The outcome of this miner is the elevated electricity bills and if you leave it for longer periods of time AcruxMiner may even damage your computer’s components.
|Type||Cryptocurrency Miner Virus|
|Short Description||A crypto miner that aims to use the resources of your computer to mine for cryptocurrencies.|
|Symptoms||Your computer may experience slow-downs, overheating, suspicious processes running and other types of unwanted side effects..|
|Distribution Method||Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by AcruxMiner Virus |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss AcruxMiner Virus.|
AcruxMiner — Distribution Methods
The AcruxMiner is a malicious cryptocurrency miner that has been detected in an active distribution campaign. At the moment there is no information about the hacker or criminal collective responsible for its creation or distribution. It is possible that such data will be known in the future.
The first detection of it was made in May 2018 when its activity was discovered for the first time. Further analysis into its origins shows that it is promoted by its developers on various hacker underground markets. This means that prospective buyers can buy the bare threat and add new modules to it or order a complete and customized solution. It can be combined with other threats as well — ransomware, Trojans and etc.
According to the analysis the AcruxMiner malware strains are being distributed as a MaaS (Miner-as-a-Service) which is subscription-based access to the malware sources. This means that the developers behind it can constantly push updates to paying customers.
As soon as the AcruxMiner malware is prepared it will be distributed using some of the popular tactics.
- Email Messages — The scripts that start the cryptocurrency miner can also be included in email messages. All interactive contents placed in the body message can lead to the execution of such code. The emails themselves impersonate well-known senders such as services and companies.
- Documents — Macro-infected documents of all popular types can serve as infection sources: presentations, databases, rich text documents and spreadsheets. Once they are opened a prompt will appear asking them to enable the built-in scripts. If this is done the miner code will be launched.
- Application Installers — The hackers can embed the miner code in setup files of popular software. Examples include system utilities, productivity applications and creativity solutions.
- Browser Hijackers — These are malicious extension made for the popular web browsers. These strains are uploaded to their respective repositories and include counterfeit user reviews and even developer credentials. Their descriptions will promote feature additions and various performance optimizations in order to coerce the users into installing them. When this is done modifications to the browser settings will be made to redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled site. Following this step the miner will be loaded.
AcruxMiner — Analysis
As soon as the AcruxMiner malware is deployed it will start the built-in behavior pattern. The first step is to launch the associated miner code. It will connect to a hacker-controlled server using a preset configuration. It will “feed” the machine complex mathematical tasks that take advantage of the available hardware resources. The miner samples have been found to take advantage of both the CPU and video card (GPU) along with the memory and hard disk space. The advanced and higher tier miner has a few additional features:
- Custom Mining Algorithm — The updated and higher tier AcruxMiner strains can scan the system and generate a report of the installed hardware components. According to the list an optimized algorithm will be selected to optimize performance.
- Persistent Installation — The AcruxMiner malware can be installed in a way which will modify the operating system and boot configuration options in order to automatically start the engine every time the computer starts. A consequence is the inability to access certain recovery menu, this can render most manual removal instructions non-working.
- Multi-factor Auto-load Option — This option will automatically download samples in a way which will optimize the jobs and tasks completion.
The AcruxMiner malware uses an encrypted wallet which cannot be accessed by the users or system administrators. It is only used to collect and synchronize the generated income. All captured versions also feature an auto-infect capability that will scan the computer for any connected removable devices. If such are found they will be infected.
The AcruxMiner is distributed alongside a rootkit infection that will make it very difficult to remove using most methods. Other options available to the threat include the ability to monitor the clipboard and also interact with the Windows volume manager and network shares. This allows the miner to spread to other hosts on the local network thus being a localized botnet.
It is very possible that the perpetrators of the miner originate from Russia as the network connections to the miner servers are primarily to Russian IP addresses.
The captured samples associated with the threat also include a Trojan component that will set-up a secure connection to a hacker-controlled server. This allows the operators to spy on the victim machines, execute certain commands and also infect them with additional payloads.
Other signatures under which the threat is known includes the following:
a variant of Win32/CoinMiner.EQ potentially unwanted
Removal of AcruxMiner is strongly recommended, since you risk not only a big electricity bill if it’s running on your PC, but the miner may also perform other unwanted activities on it and even damage your PC permanently.
Remove AcruxMiner Miner from Your PC
If you want to remove this miner from your PC, be advised that it can delete your files. This is why, we advise you to backup all your important files if on your PC before removing this virus.
To remove AcruxMiner miner automatically from your PC, we advise you to follow the removal manual below. It is separated In manual and automatic removal, since this will effectively help delete the virus files permanently. If manual removal does not help, however, we recommend what most researchers advise and that is to download an advanced anti-malware software to run a scan with it on your infected PC. Such program will automatically take care of the AcruxMiner miner virus from your computer and will make sure that it’s removed completely plus your PC stays protected in the future too.