Lately, a new type of malware has been surging in popularity which exploits the same vulnerabilities the WannaCry ransomware does. However, instead of encrypting your files, this one turns your computer into a cryptocurrency mining machine without you even knowing.
Given the fact that cryptocurrencies have been rapidly increasing in value recently, if done right, an attacker could obtain quite a bit of money by forcing you to donate your computer resources towards making a profit for him.
WannaCry managed to infect more than 200,000 Windows systems in more than 150 countries, and the new type of malware could potentially hit even bigger numbers. However, Nick Savvides, a data security specialist at Symantec, does not seem to think so.
According to him, the infection rates have been pretty low, and there also has not been an associated email campaign with the purpose of infecting more victims. He went on to say that the malware is designed in such a way that after it infects your computer, it denies everyone else the chance to do the same, making sure that no one else gets to have a piece of the pie.
Savvides explained the malware could also serve more than one purpose. Apart from utilising the infected machines to mine cryptocurrencies, you could also build your own botnet for the purposes of launching a DDoS attack.
So, if your computer has been running a little bit slower lately, you may want to run an antivirus scan as soon as possible.