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Hackers Infecting Gamers' PCs with Malware to Make Millions From Crypto

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A hacker collecting Bitcoin.

Cyber criminals are targeting gamers with mining malware as they look to get crypto-rich.

Credit: LightRocket/Getty Images

Security firm Avast has found that hackers are exploiting gamers with "Crackonosh" malware to generate millions by mining cryptocurrency using gamers’ computers.

Avast researchers said the criminals hide Crackonosh in free downloadable versions of games like NBA 2K19, Grand Theft Auto V, and Far Cry 5, available on torrent sites; upon installation, Crackonosh starts the gamers' PCs crypto-mining.

The researchers estimate Crackonosh has been used to mine $2 million in Monero cryptocurrency since June 2018; Avast's Daniel Benes said about 220,000 users have been infected worldwide, with an additional 800 devices infected daily.

Benes said indications of the malware’s presence can include slower PC performance and higher-than-normal electricity bills.

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