facexworm

Evgeni Bogachev’s Cryptolocker turned out to be a smart tool in more than one way, not only locking users out of their data and asking them for ransom but also requiring them to pay in Bitcoin, which at the time cost less than $500. Ever notice that wherever there are bussinessmen with big money there are always suspicious people with an aversion to being photographed or interviewed who ask a lot of open-ended questions? In cyber-space that translates into, respectively, large companies and viruses. One of them is the FacexWorm, which is a malware program that wants you to click on suspicious links and install fake browser extension so it can get its hands on your passwords. Hence our warning to never click on links you’re not sure about and to never install stuff from sources you (or anyone else) really trust.

FacexWorm simplified

The FacexWorm is a rather capable mechanism that can do some serious damage. It can hijack a few dollars to a whole wallet or redirect an entire transaction. It is also capable of stealing user data so it can pose as certain users and mining computers secretly (and you were wondering why your computer runs so slowly).

FacexWorm typically asks you to install a fake Chrome extension or sends you a fake Youtube link which will ask you to install an extension. Your friends will also get the virus if you share it with them. What’s worse, the users that get targeted are the ones that use crypto-related keywords.

The worm, once installed, works just like any other software in that it gets into the system and starts to multiply, sending copies of itself to everyone on your friend list. It will sometimes also install a backdoor so that more malware can enter, which is a rather nasty scenario.

The good news is that crypto-related users seem to be wise these days – far wiser than being jacked by a fairly primitive virus such as this – and so far the numbers of infected users are very low.

The chances of being taken for a ride by this virus are slim (after all, you really ought to have a good antivirus program and you know better than downloading .exe files and installing suspicious software). Still, getting caught once is enough: probably the most frustrating feature of this worm is that it is able to detect which transactions take place and replace the current wallet with a wallet of the attacker’s choice.

This is why it’s recommended to always keep a small amount of money in exchanges and the biggest part of your finances in cold storage in addition to the usual precautions you no doubt take. If you think computer viruses are no big deal, think of Stuxnet and the damage done to Iran’s nuclear program.

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