What it is: A recent Trojan horse is smart enough to infect a computer using two different methods for maximum effect.
In the early days of malware, hackers wrote viruses and Trojan horses just for fun. Often times they wanted to see how many computers they could infect and demonstrate their creativity by displaying cartoon ambulances or men moving across the screen of an infected computer. The goal wasn’t to hurt anyone but to prove the hackers’ own creativity.
After authorities started arresting hackers, hackers decided to make money from their hacking skills. That’s why so many hackers turned to a unique form of malware known as ransomware. The idea is to infect a computer, encrypt or disable the computer, and then demand the victim pay a ransom to retrieve a key that will unlock the infected PC to make it usable again. The city of Atlanta reportedly spent millions to recover their infected PCs from ransomware and other organizations around the world have been hit as well.
One of the latest malware to appear is targeting Russian users, but its approach to infection is something to catch out for. As programs in general are getting smarter through clever programming and artificial intelligence, there’s a growing danger that smart programs can be beneficial and dangerous if used the wrong way. That’s the idea behind the Rakhni Trojan horse.
When the Rakhni Trojan horse infects a computer, it first checks if the computer has a cryptocurrency folder storing any form of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. If so, then the Rakhni Trojan horse encrypts the contents and demands a ransom to unlock the user’s cryptocurrency.
If the Rakhni Trojan horse fails to find any sign of cryptocurrency wallets, then it simply installs a cryptocurrency miner that hijacks the infected PC and turns it into one of many slaves earning money for the hacker through cryptocurrency mining. In either case, the hacker hopes to benefit financially.
The Rakhni Trojan horse won’t be the last smart malware so expect to find more smart malware offering different ways to attack victims based on circumstances. While the Rakhni Trojan horse targets Russian users, you can be sure a variant or similar type of malware will eventually attack PC users around the world as well.
Guard your data carefully. Ransomeware and malware may be a threat, but by making backups of your critical data, any malware attack should only be a nuisance at best.