A hidden cryptocurrency mining malware was found in a wallpaper of late basketball player Kobe Bryant, reported the security intelligence unit of technology giant Microsoft on Jan. 31st.
Microsoft Security Intelligence tweeted that cybercriminals are taking advantage of the tragedy of Bryant’s tragic death “as expected” by running a malicious HTML file in the late basketball player’s wallpaper containing a coin mining script.
While the world mourns the loss of an NBA legend, cybercriminals are, as expected, taking advantage of the tragedy. We found a malicious HTML file posing as a Kobe Bryant wallpaper that contains a coin mining script. pic.twitter.com/w2JwPvqFy5
— Microsoft Security Intelligence (@MsftSecIntel) January 30, 2020
In the follow up tweet, it confirmed Microsoft Defender ATP detected the malicious HTML file as Trojan:HTML/Brocoiner.N!lib and its SmartScreen has now blocked the website hosting the coin miner.
The script mentions CoinHive, an in-browser crypto mining service for privacy coin Monero (XMR). Earlier last year, CoinHive shut down all its operations after the downturn of 2018 and over the upgrades made by the Monero network. After it went down, cryptojacking attacks also dropped considerably.
This, however, wasn’t the first time that cybercriminals used the photos of celebrities to spread cryptocurrency mining malware. Last month, a crypto-mining botnet infected computers with an image of Taylor Swift to diffuse the malware. Before that back in 2018, Scarlett Johansson’s picture was also targeted by these cybercriminals.