Microsoft found and blocked cryptocurrency mining malware hidden in a photo of the recently deceased basketball star, Kobe Bryant.
The Microsoft Intelligence and Security Division found cryptocurrency mining malware hidden in a wallpaper of the recently deceased basketball legend Kobe Bryant.
Security researchers at the technology firm tweeted that cybercriminals are taking advantage of Bryant’s tragedy by publishing a “malicious HTML file that pretends to be a Kobe Bryant wallpaper, which contains a coin extraction script” .
Kobe Bryant was a recognized American basketball star, who played more than 20 seasons in the NBA. On January 26, he died at age 41 in a helicopter crash in California. There also died eight more people, one of them his daughter Gianna Maria.
Microsoft blocked malware in Kobe Bryant’s photo
In a follow-up tweet, they claimed that the Microsoft Defender SmartScreen application blocked the website that hosts the mining script named Cointelegraph as Trojan: HTML/Brocoiner.N! Lib:
“While the world mourns the loss of an NBA legend, cybercriminals are, as expected, taking advantage of the tragedy. We found a malicious HTML file posing as a Kobe Bryant wallpaper that contains a coin mining script.”
Upon activation, the code is executed and begins to use the individual’s computing power to illegally extract XMR, the native currency of the blockchain focused on privacy.
The practice is called steganography, which consists in hiding a file inside another, thus introducing the crypto-coding code into the photos of famous people. For its part, the process of illegal extraction of crypto currencies through a self-executing code is called cryptojacking.