Harvest Miner — How to Detect and Remove It from Your Computer

Harvest Miner — How to Detect and Remove It from Your Computer

Harvest Miner imageThis blog post has been created to explain what is Harvest Miner cryptocurrency miner and show how to remove it from your computer plus protect your PC against future infections as well.

The Harvest Miner is a new cryptocurrency miner that is currently in development. Its creators have created it as an open-source alternative to the popular CoinHive script. We suspect that it will gain a very large popularity once it is ready.

Threat Summary

NameHarvest Miner
TypeCryptoCurrency Miner Malware
Short DescriptionAims to mine for different cryptocurrencies on the victim’s computer after which may begin to
SymptomsThe Harvest Miner miner may begin to slow down your computer by using over 90% of both your CPU and GPU. This may result in your cooling fans to work at higher speeds.
Distribution MethodVia bundled installers, fake setups or via other PUP that has already been installed on your PC.
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Harvest Miner Virus – Distribution Methods

The Harvest Miner is usually deployed to the victim computers via a web-based infection. This is done by placing a malware script into hacker-controlled sites. They are usually made using templates that pose as legitimate web services: download portals, web search engines and etc.

Such threats can also be pushed through spam email messages that contain interactive and rich text elements. A popular way of integrating coinminer scripts is to use various social engineering tactics in order to fool the victims into interacting with the malware component.

Another example would be the integration of the dangerous code in web scripts such as ads, banners, pop-ups and redirects. They are widely used on different sites and easily forwarded to the victims. In the last few months there has been a noticeable surge in the development of spam messages in the social networks. The criminals use hacked or stolen user credentials and post messages and posts that attempt to redirect the victims.

Harvest Miner Malware – Malicious Activity

The Harvest Miner follows the usual infection strategy used by other similar threats. Upon invocation it is loaded into memory and begins to take advantage of the available hardware resources to perform complex and intensive operations that result in the generation of cryptocurrency value that is sent to the criminal operators. At the moment it supports the Monero currency which is one of the well-known alternatives to Bitcoin. It has several distinct advantages over it, among which is its privacy-centric workflow. Instead of the public nature of Bitcoin’s blockchain the one used in Monero keeps the amount of transactions private. It is also difficult to pinpoint the transaction senders and receivers unless specific values are known. Monero is also known for having significantly lower transaction fees.

The Harvest Miner can be loaded into the browsers and can run efficienty once loaded into memory. At the moment the testing samples still do not match the performance ratings of more mature miners, however development is ongoing. The fact that the dangerous applications can run from a simple script makes it very dangerous. The compact size means that it can be executed from a variety of different types of pages.

The developers note that it is written using WebAssembly which means that browser-based attacks can directly invoke low-level byte code. The current implementation depends on several components:

  • Miner — Vanilla Javascript code.
  • JobThread — WebWorker Dispatcher.
  • WebWorker — Bundled WebAssembly/Assembly.js.
  • CryptoNote — Hashing Algorithm.

The code analysis shows that the Miner is used by the attackers to dispatch the malware commands to the JobThreads module. Its functions are to handled the requests and present the mining statistics: hash rate, total average, throttle and etc. The JobThread module is the part of the malware that is actually assigned with the task of controlling the miner threads. It interfaces with the CryptoNote algorithm specifications. All resulting operations are reported to the Miner instance which reports to the hacker operators via a network connection.

At the moment a final version is still not available however we suspect that once this is done the Harvest Miner will be adopted by the masses. The reason for this being is the fact that it is advertised as the open-source alternative to CoinHive which is one of the most popuar ways to deploy cryptocurrency miners. The main distinction and advantage of the Harvest Miner is the fact that it does not require a developers fee. All proceedings would go to the site operators.

Remove Harvest Miner Virus and Protect Your PC

Q: How Do I Remove Harvest Miner and How Do I Protect Myself In the Future?

A: In order to remove the Harvest Miner miner, you should first stop the malicious processes of the malware by entering Windows Task Manager and stopping the malicious task by right-clicking on the Harvest Miner process and clicking on End Process or End Process tree. This results in the virus stopping to mine. After doing so, you may want to remove the malware preferably by following the automatic or manual removal instructions below, if you have removed malware manually and have the experience. Be advised that security experts strongly recommend to remove the Harvest Miner miner malware automatically by downloading an advanced anti-malware software, that aims to scan for and erase all malware from your system plus protect it against future infections as well.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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