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Just a Wink and Smile - the Avaddon Pathway to Doom

The new Avaddon ransomware has come alive in an enormous spam campaign targeting online users with emails containing a wink emoji.
What is happening The Avaddon ransomware is being propagated via the Phorphiex/Trik botnet. The malspam messages try to entice the recipients into opening a photo, with a wink emoji in the email body. The phishing email contains a zip file that contains a JavaScript file. Once the JavaScript file is launched, the Trik worm, Gozi banking trojan, CryptoNight XMRig cryptocurrency miner, and Gandcrab ransomware are loaded.
Looking into the past Phorphiex/Trik botnet is one of the few botnets capable of packing a strong payload punch. Trik botnet is at least a decade old and first was dissipated via live chat and USB storage drives. While last year’s campaign contained female names in the phishing email, this year the display names were male. In 2018, 43 million email addresses leaked from the C&C server of the botnet.
Worth noting The monetary demand varies and payment is accepted in bitcoins. Their site contains 24/7 support assistance and ways to obtain bitcoin, along with a QR code and wallet address for payment. The operators are targeting users worldwide, proven by the presence of 9 language options on their site. The related IOCs can be found here.
The bottom line The threat actors behind Avaddon have posted on Russian hacker forums that they are a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) program. Following the RaaS rules, the actors will not target the Commonwealth of Independent States. Security experts expect to see a rise in advanced attack tactics and increasing distribution of the ransomware.
submitted by tonyrogerz to Tech_And_Hacking_News [link] [comments]

Do you agree with Fitgirls' position on antiviri?

Modern AVs are paranoid. They usually see danger in safe files and skip real malware. This is more actual for compressed/protected software and cracks, especially from Chinese groups, such as 3DM.
This may sound scary, but in the real world THERE IS NO ANTIVIRUS, which will protect you from modern trojans, bitcoin miners and similar stuff. In most cases harmful apps won’t be blocked, but absolutely safe programs – will be, as false positives. And since AVs usually work silently, without even notifying you about blocked stuff – you will wonder, why the installer don’t work or why the game don’t want to launch.
One of the biggest downfalls of AVs is they resident mode, when ALL open files, even not executables, arc checked on the fly. This mode can slow down a fast installer for HOURS, because every unpacked file will be checked with AVs engine. Complex repacks do lots of HDD read/writes, and it alone is not fast, but coupled with AV will ruin your experience.
The best antivirus is your brain. Don’t download suspicious software, don’t open attachments in your email, keep your browser up-to-date, disable Flash and Java. This will protect you from 99% of potential malware. You can use antivirus in scan mode on daily basis, with VERBOSE mode, when you will see, what AV counts a real danger.
One more thing – NEVER EVER trust only one antivirus. False positives appear more frequent, than any real virus. Upload any suspicous file to virustotal.com and only then take actions.
If you still need AV for scanning, I’d settle for Kaspersky, Dr.Web or ESET tools, working in VERBOSE mode, and not killing stuff automatically.
submitted by bluejeans90210 to Piracy [link] [comments]

Most Known Web Mining Real World Use Cases

Web mining is an alternative to cryptocurrency mining that doesn’t require expensive hardware, rather it harnesses computing power from a large number of individual smaller processing units. To enable a website to allow users the option of web mining or do it without consent, as is typically done, a JavaScript code is implanted in the source code of the website, which when accessed by a visitor is then automatically ran in the background, using computing power.
It’s beneficial for websites as it allows them to make money out of users visiting. Since it’s relatively low performance, it doesn’t greatly depreciate the end-users computing power, and offers an incentive to return to the website – if end users are capable of making a share as well, that is. It’s growing steadily as it’s estimated approximately 1 in 7,000 websites use cryptocurrency web mining methods.


In order to combat losses inflicted by AdBlock extensions, the popular torrenting website PirateBay utilized the JavaScript string provided by Coinhive to convert the CPU power of visitors into Monero cryptocurrency coins on certain pages. However, PirateBay did not publicize this fact, and it was only brought to light through the noticeable increased use of resources when attempting to load said pages. This is considered “cryptojacking” where in the end user is not notified of the fact that their computing power is being used to in fact mine. Since PirateBay started utilizing the ad-free scheme, Coinhive copycats began showing up and implementing the same methods on popular sites like Politifact.com, unknown to the owners, mining money for themselves through another site’s traffic. However in spite of all of this, PirateBay stick to their decision to go ad-free stating that it’s a small price to pay for a reduction/complete clear up of ads, with most users commenting to agree.


As a non-profit organization, UNICEF has also enabled web-mining through an opt-in process through which individuals can donate spare computational power, to contribute to specific charitable causes supported by such a large organisation. This process is completely transparent as opposed the pathway that was taken by PirateBay, whereby there was no option to not partake in the mining for the website. For non-profit organizations that choose to adopt this scheme, there comes an added benefit as by supporting cryptocurrencies and the mining there of, they have the chance to be exposed to, and therefore donated to by cryptocurrency advocates who in general would not initially opt to donate, but in exchange for the support, would be more inclined to. Over all, costs in terms of conversion/transferring fees to the countries/charities that are currently being supported by the non-profit organization can be cut down immensely if all payments are made through cryptocurrency, as it can be dealt within minutes and and the fees are almost non existent.


Salon Media Group offered users an opt-in ad replacement scheme, where once the user consents, they have chosen to ‘suppress’ the ads and instead, offer revenue through mining whilst using the website. There’s even a link on the Salon.com website explaining to users how the service works, offering solutions for refusing to opt-in, and why they chose to adopt the scheme. This is similar to the implementation of web-mining done by UNICEF, except the proceeds in this case go to the Salon Media Group.


Ever since the PirateBay situation, users have become more aware to situations wherein their resources are being drained discreetly, and such is the issue with Showtime.com. Showtime.com, as well as showtimeanytime.com had been found to use the same Javascript string that PirateBay had been using, slowly converting users processing powers into currency for themselves. It has been noted by several users that it would be understandable for PirateBay to be considering alternate sources of income, what with being mainly linked to illegal content. However, with a public, legal domain such as Showtime.com, users see it as a method to exploit them in order to boost revenue. Ulterior, it has come to light that this was not a cryptojacking attack, but an experiment conducted by Showtime themselves (though users complained that it could have been made transparent). Coinhive has however, since then released a public statement in which they apologise on behalf of their customers who do not request permission and state that moving forward it will be default to ask before mining.

Advantages and Disadvantages

All that is required by the website owner is the JavaScript string.
If even minor returns/incentives are promised to end users, helps retain the user database.
Offers an alternative to advertisements, thereby combating AdBlock extensions.
Threat of cryptojacking for end users.
Lesser returns due to being less performance based.

Existing solutions

Currently, there are a handful of companies that offer the services to enable web-mining. These include but are not limited to Coinhive (the suppliers for PirateBay), JSECoin, mining their own cryptocurrency, and Minergate who are considered to be the first to provide the service but with an unfortunately negative light (they introduce Trojans which insert the miner in users’ computers). Many of the available web miners also have the disadvantage of overburdening the user’s processing units. With Gath3r however, we believe in transparency, everything is made clear to both the owner and the end user through a pop-up allowing users to opt-in rather than be forced to mine without their permission. Moreover, Gath3r’s internal security features have been extensively tested to prove that there is no significant impact on devices ranging from laptops to smartphones and even gaming consoles. We also provide the added benefit of allowing payouts to be made either in Bitcoin, or if preferred in a local currency directly to your bank account (where permissible).
In conclusion, web mining, whilst unfortunately holding a negative connotation, can actually be used by companies (if done so safely and transparently) in order to create increased revenue shares, ultimately ridding the need for advertisements and therefore clutter on websites.
submitted by Gath3r_Web_Miner to Gath3r_WebMiner [link] [comments]

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Bitcoin Is a Trojan Horse

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