Back to School Warning Against Malicious Crypto Miners

Neil Dennis

Kaspersky Labs, the cyber security firm, has warned as students go back to schools and colleges for the new academic year that computer viruses are becoming more prevalent when downloading work and study-related materials.

The cost of textbooks and other study aids prompts many students to seek less expensive, or even free, alternatives. But malicious content can be encountered among much of this material: essays, study guides, textbooks and other sources.

This malware includes cryptomining programs that will surreptitiously mine digital assets for their owners and sap the processing power of the infected computer and possibly push up the household's electricity bills.

A study by Kaspersky of its users showed that cybercriminals targeted the field of education more 356,000 times, 233,000 of which were malicious essays.

Types of Malware

The four most popular types of malware used by cybercriminals targeting educational material were as follows:

  • 4th - MediaGet torrrent application downloader: This downloader will retrieve a torrent client - a software protocol that allows the transfer of data between computers linked to the internet without the need for a central server.
  • 3rd - WinLNK.Agent.gen downloader: As a rule these downloaders launch malicious cryptomining programs.
  • 2nd - Win32.Agent.ifdx malware downloader: Again, most commonly this type of malware downloads cryptominers, but can also download spyware and ransomware.
  • 1st - Stalk worm spamming: Stalk is dangerous because it can infect other devices on the local network or through flash drives if students save material for printing at school. The malware can download other malicious applications to the infected device and copy and send files from the computer to the malware owners.

Top-Tier Crypto Exchanges Experience Historic Volume Ahead of Bitcoin's Halving

  • A new report by CryptoCompare shows top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges experienced a historic day of trading on April 30th after BTC fell below $9k.
  •  Binance recorded more than $15 million in trades in the span of minutes, accounting for more approximately 50% of all trading volume. 

April saw historic volumes for top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges ahead of May 12’s bitcoin halving. 

According to a new report compiled by CryptoCompare analysts, volume trading on top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges increased last month, with a surge occurring on April 30 in response to bitcoin’s sudden dip below $9,000. 

cryptocompare exchange reviewSource: CryptoCompare April 2020 Exchange Review

Binance recorded more than $15 million in trades in the span of minutes on the morning of April 30, as the price of BTC briefly dipped. Other top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges also experienced a surge in volume, with Bitfinex recording $6.1 million in trades, OKEx $3.2 million and Gemini $2.5 million. 

The report reads, 

As Bitcoin dipped below $9,000 on the morning of the 30th of April, Binance represented the majority of trading volume (BTC/USDT market), trading a total of $15mn at 11am BST. At this moment, it represented approximately 50% of trading volume among 7 of the largest top-tier exchanges.

Total spot volume trading on April 30 reached $66.2, second all-time behind March 13th’s crypto market crash which generated $75.9 billion. Top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges, it's worth noting, are those with high ratings according to CryptoCompare's Exchange Benchmark

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