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HomeScience/TechnologyFake Google Translate App Installs Malware To Mine Cryptocurrencies: Report

Fake Google Translate App Installs Malware To Mine Cryptocurrencies: Report

Through CNBCTV18.com IST (Published)

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The malware, called Nitrokid, was created by a Turkish-speaking person or group and infected users in 11 countries.

Thousands of users around the world may have fallen victim to crypto mining malware passed off as a fake Google Translate app. A new report from Check Point Research found that users who downloaded a fake desktop version of Google Translate were also downloading crypto mining malware.

The malware, called Nitrokid, was created by a Turkish-speaking person or group and infected users in 11 countries. In addition to being dropped with the fake desktop version of Google Translate, the miner was also secretly shipped with other third-party software, such as desktop versions of the YouTube Music app.

The software can be downloaded from popular websites such as Softpedia and Uptodown. The people behind the malware used the Chromium Embedded Framework project to transfer the web pages directly to desktop applications. Although the Nitrokid developer claimed to be completely free of bloatware and malware, the software was a trojan horse that would later download the malware in 7 different phases.

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The trojan, so named after the infamous Greek myth of the same name, would even delete the files from the original installation and install the malware a month after the third-party program’s initial installation.

The malware managed to infect more than 100,000 devices in Israel, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Australia, Greece, Turkey, Mongolia and Poland.

Once the crypto miner is secretly installed, the miner would continue to mine the Monero cryptocurrency, although the proceeds are instead diverted to the malware’s developer. This type of malware is also known as cryptojacker. Check Point Research had previously determined that this type of malware was the sixth most popular ever worldwide.

What can one do to avoid falling prey to this malware? “Watch out for lookalike domains, misspellings on websites, and unknown email senders. Only download software from authorized, well-known publishers or vendors and make sure your endpoint security is up-to-date and offers comprehensive protection,” cautioned Maya Horowitz, Vice President-Research, Check Point Software.

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