Digital currency mining is the new trend in cybercrime, and WinstarNssmMiner is another example of a coinminer targeting Windows systems in a Monero mining effort.
Malware was recently detected by the security company 360 Total Security, and as researchers point out, it lists more than 500.000 victims in just three days.
The highly aggressive coinminer spreads through specially designed campaigns and uses all Windows systems resources to extract Monero. It even uses several protection techniques to bypass antivirus solutions and to ensure that the processes it launches are not hindered.
Specifically, once it enters a system, WinstarNssmMiner monitors the activity of installed antivirus protection software, and in the event that a virus scan is performed it temporarily suspends its malicious activity.
When it considers it safe, malware creates two different system processes called svchost.exe (svchost.exe or Service Host is a standard Windows process), in an effort to not be understood. One process starts crypto mining, while the other monitors antivirus solutions by interrupting any activity when performing a virus scan.
WinstarNssmMiner is another surprise for Windows users, as if malware is discovered and attempted to shut down svchost.exe, malware crashes Windows, leading to BSOD. This is because the malicious program defines svchost.exe as CriticalProcess, causing Windows to shut down the computer when the malicious process is terminated.
According to researchers, malware is now spreading to more systems around the world, and the easiest way to keep it safe is to use up-to-date antivirus solutions but also specialized web mining protection applications.