Adobe Flash can’t disappear fast enough.
In the meantime, it continues to present security issues, sometimes directly through discovered vulnerabilities, or in this case preying on the vigilance of users who aim to keep it updated to prevent the very sort of thing caused by the fake and malicious update that is infecting some PCs.
Cryptocurrency scammers have gotten extra creative and are now hiding mining malware in legitimate updates of Adobe Flash Player.
Researchers from cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks discovered a fake Flash updater which has been doing the rounds since early August.
While it claims to install a legitimate Flash update, the malicious file sneaks in a cryptocurrency mining bot called XMRig (which mines privacy coin Monero).
The scam actually installs a genuine Flash update serves to distract the user from the deceitful goings-on.
Many users may be unaware their CPU is now running at full tilt, mining cryptocurrency for someone else.
The security firm said it had discovered 113 examples of malware that use this technique in past half year in AutoFocus.
Around two-thirds of those were identified with a CoinMiner tag, while the remaining samples share other tags with those same CoinMiner-related executables.
Palo Alto Networks believe users are directed to these files via spoof URLs.
However, the researchers have not been able to confidently conclude how victims arrive at these URLs in the first place.
Some research has suggested that over $250,000 of Monero is mined through illegitimate browser-based mining scripts every month.
Last month the Monero community hit out at the hackers using XMR in these types of illegitimate scams.
The Monero Malware Response Workgroup is trying to combat the growing number of Monero-based hacks.
We can only hope the workgroup gets to work on this one pretty swiftly.