Hackers also used the Adf.ly URL shortening service that remunerates users when someone clicks on the link. When users clicked on these Adf.ly URLs, they were redirected and found themselves downloading the crypto-currency mining malware instead.
The miner used in this Monero cryptocurrency mining operation execute XMRig mining software via VBS files, and leverages XMRig proxy services to hide the ultimate mining pool destination.
Researchers also noticed that threat actors use the Nicehash marketplace to trade hashing processing power.
According to the experts from PaloAlto the date October 20, 2017, was a milestone in this operation. Before October 20, 2017, the attackers were using the Windows built-in BITSAdmin tool to download the XMRig mining tool from a remote location. Apart from a few exceptions, the final payload was primarily installed with the filename ‘msvc.exe’.