Posted 1 year ago | by Ben Armstrong

Cybercriminals Take Advantage of Kobe Bryant's Death

Hackers are taking advantage of the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant earlier this week by hiding malware within downloadable mementos of the star. The goal is free crypto, paid for by an unspecting fan.

According to Microsoft Security Intelligence, researchers found out that hackers are hiding malicious HTML code containing a cryptojacking script in desktop wallpaper of the NBA all-time great to mine cryptocurrency.

"While the world mourns the loss of an NBA legend, cybercriminals are, as expected, taking advantage of the tragedy,” the researchers said.

The so-called cryptojacking is a practice where cybercriminals hijack processing power from other computers to mine cryptocurrencies remotely. The tokens are then saved by the cryptojackers, and perhaps sold with a near 100% profit.

Microsoft is On The Case

The Microsoft team found the malicious HTML file which is Trojan:HTML/Brocoiner.N!lib with its Defender Virus Protection software. The coin mining script was disguised as a desktop wallpaper featuring an image of Bryant and the website hosting the coin miner was blocked by the software.

“We found a malicious HTML file posing as a Kobe Bryant wallpaper that contains a coin mining script.” the Microsoft researchers said.

Cryptojacking has become an increasingly popular method for hackers to make money since it can be very difficult to spot for people unfamiliar with the cyber attack’s methods.

It usually hides under a malicious file within a legitimate one, like an image or a video, which then executes the attack unnoticed in the background of a person’s phone or computer. While it probably won't destroy your machine, it will likely slow down its operations.

Malware is a Big Problem

The malware has also been spotted in some websites. Visitors are infected the moment they click on a link. It can usually be uncovered by the amount of processing a device is using. The software will increase the processing power needed for normal tasks.

Social media is mourning Bryant’s death, including a personal post from Tron founder Justin Sun. Bryant was a supporter of crypto technology, and Tron specifically.

Sun announced that this year’s niTROn conference would be dedicated to Bryant. But, some on social media were quick to criticize this move as a shameless cash-in due to Sun’s prior history of dubious promotional methods.

Keep an eye on freebies from the internet. While some are great downloads, there are bad actors out there who want to cash in on your computer's processing power.