This malware can infect your PC with more than 20 malicious programs
Looking for bootleg software? Be careful; it might trick you into downloading malware.
Antivirus vendor Kaspersky has discovered one such strain of malware trying to infect tens of thousands of Windows PCs via websites that claim to offer cracks and key generators for legitimate software.
The malware is known as NullMixer and has attacked more than 47,500 users so far, Kaspersky said in a report on Monday. It can download over 20 trojans and malware once installed, including spyware, login and credit card stealers, backdoors, and other programs that can grab even more malware .
A victim may accidentally install NullMixer if they search for software cracks on search engines such as Google. These software cracks are often designed to allow you to run legitimate software on a PC, but without purchasing a license key.
The hackers behind NullMixer exploited these software piracy sites to redirect users to download a ZIP file which will run NullMixer. “Notably, cybercriminals used professional SEO tools in order to appear early in search engine results, so that they could be easily found when searching for cracks and keygens on the Internet and could target as many users as possible,” Kaspersky added.
The infection occurs when the user extracts the “win-setup-i864.exe” file from the archive and decides to run it. This will trigger another executable to launch, which will then drop “dozens of malicious files” onto the PC, Kaspersky said. Additionally, the malware will attempt to disable Microsoft’s Windows Defender real-time system monitoring.
“Since the start of the year, we have blocked infection attempts from more than 47,778 victims worldwide,” Kaspersky added. “Some of the most targeted countries are Brazil, India, Russia, Italy, Germany, France, Egypt, Turkey and the United States.”
Getting infected with so much malware can also make the PC unusable unless Windows is reinstalled. “Any information you type on your keyboard will be available to attackers: messages you write to friends on Facebook, the address you use to order from Amazon, usernames and passwords for your device or crypto accounts. -currency, and credit card data.As a result, the entire device with all your information is now in the hands of cybercriminals,” says Haim Zigel, security researcher at Kaspersky.
To protect yourself, it is better to avoid pirated software. Users may also consider installing an antivirus program on their PC.