Hackers are distributing free, cracked games infected with crypto mining malware

For one reason or another, gamers turn to piracy to get free yet illegal copies of their favorite games. Hackers are well aware of the demand and are more than willing to provide these games, but there’s a catch—the games may be infected with crypto mining malware.

Per a report by the BBC, cracked versions of popular games such as Grand Theft Auto V and NBA 2K19 have been modified to include crypto-mining malware. One particular malware recently discovered by researchers at security company Avast is Crackonosh.

When installed and activated, Crackonosh can successfully disable an operating system’s security and updating software, and then subsequently use the computer’s processing power to mine Monero, a cryptocurrency that’s popular among cybercriminals.

If left unchecked, the malware can slow down the computer and increase the victim’s electricity usage.

Avast says that more than 220,000 computers have been infected with Crackonosh so far, with the Philippines among the countries with the highest number of infections.

  • United Kingdom: 8,946 victims
  • United States: 11,856 victims
  • Poland: 12,727 victims
  • India: 13,779 victims
  • Brazil: 16,584 victims
  • Philippines: 18,448 victims