PCs infested with a new version of ransomware end up on the hunt for Bitcoins after the malware blocks out all other capabilities on the Windows systems.
This new version of the Reveton ransomware locks a user out of their computer before running a Bitcoin miner, said researchers at Malwarebytes.
Reveton is a piece of ransomware where when it gets into a system, it falsely accuses victims of downloading images of child abuse or downloading copyright-protected content before demanding a fine to unlock computers.
Before, ransomware saw multiple uses from sending out survey scams and fake anti-virus products.
The Bitcoin move is new, and could bring in a nice piece of change for attackers.
“To this end, Reveton has once again reinvented itself, this time with a contingency plan just in case the user doesn’t pay up,” said writes Malwarebytes researcher Adam Kujawa in a blog post.
Making money mining Bitcoins for practical gain involves running arrays of GPUs solving the more complex algorithms needed to generate Bitcoins.
“Ransomware is most commonly spread via drive-by downloads and Reveton especially has been seen working with some of the most notorious exploit kits available today,” Kujawa said. “Disabling Java Script and keeping all of your plugins and browser as up to date as possible will help deter any attempts for Ransomware to steal your system and maybe even your money.”