Researchers at security intelligence firm Trend Micro have found that a new hacking tool is circulating around the internet in an attempt to install Monero mining malware. According to the company’s February 20 blog post, the cryptocurrency mining malware was first detected at the end of January.
The company discovered that the tool is a combination of extant threats which previously targeted Microsoft Windows users – MIMIKATZ and RADMIN. An increase in hack tool installation attempts was detected between the last week of January and the first week of February, the company said, saying that the tool dropped seemingly random files into the Windows directory.
“Using MIMIKATZ and RADMIN for propagation while exploiting critical vulnerabilities enables malicious actors to spread malware with worm-like behavior to target specific systems in industries without being immediately detected,” Trend Micro said.
The company advised users to be diligent when it comes to downloading patches from legitimate vendors as soon as they are released.
And while mining malware shouldn’t be taken lightly, it comes as no surprise to the crypto community. Last year has seen a meteoric rise of XMR mining malware, with several independent studies showing that 5 percent of all Monero (XMR) in circulation has been mined maliciously.