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Trojan Disguised as Trend Micro Component Drops Bitcoin-Mining Malware


Malware writers have devised lots of social engineering tactics to lure users into their scheme. This time around, we saw a Trojan passing itself off as a Trend Micro component as a way to trick users into downloading and executing it.

We recently encountered a file and noticed the following properties (see below). For the untrained eye, this file can be mistaken as a Trend Micro product/component. But during our analysis, this file is actually a Trojan in disguise. We believe that by spoofing Trend Micro properties, the people behind this threat are hoping to trick unwitting users into executing the file. This malware is already detected by Trend Micro as TROJ_RIMECUD.AJL.

When user executes TROJ_RIMECUD.AJL, it creates the process svchost.exe where it injects its malicious code. Once done, the malware downloads a component package (refer to Figure 2).

This downloaded package contains a bitcoin miner application created by Ufasoft. We detect this bitcoin app as HKTL_BITCOINMINE.

Bitcoin is considered digital currency and can be used to pay certain transactions online. This attack is timely because of the news that Bitcoin Central has been approved by the law to function as a bank where exchange from Euro and Bitcoins are now possible.

For the past years, there have been cases wherein systems are infected with Bitcoin-mining malware and turning them into unwilling “miners”.  In turn, these (systems) churn Bitcoins for the benefit of the bad guys while the affected users are left in the dark.  Besides generating profit for its authors, this malware consumes too much of the system’s resources. In sudden slowdown of the system always check your running processes and search for unknown running application. This occurrence maybe caused by a possible infection of Bitcoin mining activity.

To avoid becoming victim to this scheme, users must be extra-cautious when downloading applications, files found on the internet. Better yet, refrain from visiting unknown websites and clicking ads or shortened URLs contained in email messages from unverified sources.

To know more about the threat that certain bitcoin mining apps pose, check out our previous blog posts below:

The Trend Micro Smart Protection NetworkT detects and deletes TROJ_RIMECUD.AJL and HKTL_BITCOINMINE, if found on user’s system.

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