LoudMiner uses virtualization software to mine cryptocurrency

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MONTREAL and BRATISLAVA - ESET, a global leader in IT security, today announced that its researchers have discovered an unusual cross-platform cryptocurrency miner called LoudMiner. LoudMiner uses virtualization software – QEMU on macOS and VirtualBox on Windows – to mine cryptocurrency on a Tiny Core Linux virtual machine.

LoudMiner is distributed in pirated copies of audio software called VST (Virtual Studio Technology). LoudMiner uses the compromised machines to mine cryptocurrency and uses SCP (Secure Copy) with an embedded username and private SSH key to self-update.

“LoudMiner targets audio applications, given the machines running these applications often have a higher processing power,” said Marc-Etienne M.Léveillé, senior malware researcher, ESET. “These applications are typically complex and have a high CPU consumption, so users will not find this activity unusual. Using virtual machines instead of another leaner solution is quite remarkable, and is not something we have typically seen before,” added Léveillé.

ESET has observed that LoudMiner has been in use since August 2018.

To protect yourself, ESET strongly recommends never downloading pirated copies of commercial software. ESET also advises users to beware of popups from unexpected “additional” installers, higher CPU consumption and new services and connections from curious domain names. 

For more details, read the full research report, “LoudMiner: Cross-platform mining in cracked VST software”, on WeLiveSecurity.com

About ESET

For 30 years, ESET® has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services for businesses and consumers worldwide. With solutions ranging from endpoint and mobile security to encryption and two-factor authentication, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use products give consumers and businesses the peace of mind to enjoy the full potential of their technology. ESET unobtrusively protects and monitors 24/7, updating defenses in real time to keep users safe and businesses running without interruption. Evolving threats require an evolving IT security company. Backed by R&D centers worldwide, ESET has become the first IT security company to earn 100 Virus Bulletin VB100 awards, identifying every single “in-the-wild” malware without interruption since 2003. For more information, visit www.eset.com or follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.