A new computer virus designed by the United States National Security Agency could turn your computer into a digital currency mining machine without your knowledge.

In May 2017, the world was introduced to one of the most dangerous exploits ever designed to take malicious advantage of the Microsoft Windows operating systems from version XP to 8.1, and the authors of the malware work for the NSA, the controversial government agency known to conduct cyber espionage on a global scale. The WannaCry ransomware attack disrupted the operations of public health and transportation systems from the United Kingdom to Zimbabwe and from Russia to Portugal; that threat was contained thanks in part to a lack of sophistication on the part of the hackers, who used a cyber warfare NSA exploit to distribute malicious code.

Waves of New Virus Alerts Strike Computers

In the wake of the WannaCry attack, security researchers found the fingerprint of the delivery method used by the hackers in another malicious infection that has gone undetected for weeks and may be affecting Windows PCs in the High Desert. This particular virus also takes advantage of the same NSA exploit, which was leaked to the public by the Shadow Brokers, a shadowy hacking outfit believed to have ties to the Russian government.

What is interesting about this new virus-powered by NSA coders is that it installs a mining utility for Monero, a digital currency similar to Bitcoin. Due to the high specifications and processing power of modern computing devices, this hidden malware can go virtually unnoticed. Antivirus software developers now have the information they need to block and eliminate this malware from infected Windows computers, but there is still the issue of NSA delivery methods still out in the wild.

Increasing Your Security Against Malware

The propagation of WannaCry and the Monero miner was carried out by means of the NSA “EternalBlue” Windows exploit, which targets a hole in the Server Message Block protocol. Microsoft released a patch to fix this issue weeks before the attacks, but not all vulnerable computers were updated in time. Unfortunately, there are three other exploits that Microsoft still needs to address: they are called “EnglishmanDentist,” “ExplodingCan” and “EsteemAudit.” These exploits target the Remote Desktop Protocol of older Windows versions such as Server 2003, and it could be used to spread troublesome viruses.

If you have a desktop, laptop or tablet that runs on an operating system older than Windows 10, you should apply all updates and allow your antivirus program to install new virus definitions files. To be absolutely sure that your system is completely updated, virus-free and protected against these new threats, contact the security professionals at PC Performance Pros in Victorville today.