comscore This malware affects 4,700 Windows-based computers every day
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This malware affects 4,700 Windows-based computers every day

The best way to avoid being a victim of the malware attack is to keep your system software updated.

  • Published: October 8, 2019 2:18 PM IST
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Security researchers have discovered a new malware that infected 90,000 machines worldwide during the month of August. Called Smominru malware, it has an infection rate of up to 4,700 computers per day. Here is everything you need to know about the malware.

Smominru malware detailed

In its post-infection phase, the malware steals victim credentials. It also installs a Trojan module and a cryptominer. The Smominru malware also propagates inside the network, according to researchers from Guardicore, a data centre and cloud security company.

The botnet uses several methods to propagate. But primarily it infects a system in one of two ways – either by brute-forcing weak credentials for different Windows services. Or more commonly by relying on the infamous EternalBlue exploit, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky said in a blog post.

Countries affected with the malware

Microsoft patched the vulnerability EternalBlue exploits that made the WannaCry and NotPetya outbreaks possible. However, many companies are simply ignoring updates, Kaspersky said. China, Taiwan, Russia, Brazil and the US have seen the most attacks. But, that doesn’t mean other countries are out of its scope. For example, the largest network Smominru targeted was in Italy, with 65 hosts infected.

The criminals involved are not too particular about their targets, which range from universities to healthcare providers. However, one detail is very consistent. About 85 percent of infections occur on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 systems. The rest include Windows Server 2012, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

What damage does the malware do

After compromising the system, Smominru creates a new user, called admin$, with admin privileges on the system and starts to download a whole bunch of malicious payloads. The most obvious objective is to silently use infected computers for mining cryptocurrency (namely, Monero) at the victim’s expense.

The malware also downloads a set of modules used for spying, data exfiltration, and credential theft. On top of that, once Smominru gains a foothold, it tries to propagate further within the network to infect as many systems as possible.

How to protect your computer

To protect your network, computers, and data from Smominru, you need to update operating systems and other software regularly, Kaspersky said. It is also important for users to use strong passwords. A reliable password manager that helps you create, manage, and automatically retrieve and enter passwords may help protect you against brute-force attacks.

With inputs from IANS.

  • Published Date: October 8, 2019 2:18 PM IST