Hide your Bitcoins from Skype!
Another day, another threat to your computer. Kaspersky Labs is reporting that your faithful communication app may in fact be looking to steal your virtual money right out of your virtual pocket. The attack is underway in many locations around the world, and this is not the first malware to target Skype, just the latest and potentially most costly for users.
Kaspersky's Dmitry Bestuzhev reports that the latest curse on Skype "turns the infected machine to a slave of the bitcoin generator". The attack affects users in Russia, Poland, Costa Rica, Spain, Germany, Ukraine, Italy and is spreading to other locations, but the initial dropper is downloaded from a server located in India and the malware connects to its C2 server located in Germany.
Once the malware is on a victim's computer, it begins usurping the PC's processing power in the service of mining Bitcoins. The Bitcoin network is reliant on a rather complex system that creates each Bitcoin and verifies that it is valid and is being spent by the owner of the Bitcoins. The process requires a lot of processing power, and that is exactly what the attackers behind this malware are after. This news follows closely on the heels of a DDoS attack of Bitcoin Exchange service Mt. Gox.
The biggest clue is if your machine begins ramping up CPU usage. You need to look into why it is doing that, though that is something you should always do, virus fear or not. According to Bestuzhev "as I said the campaign is quite active. If you see your machine is working hard, using all available CPU resources, you may be infected". As of this writing, a single Bitcoin is worth $115.