Attackers have found a new technique to make cryptocurrency mining, or cryptomining, inside browsers persistent, or at least survive normal attempts of closing the browser window.
Drive-by cryptomining has become widespread in recent months with websites abusing visitors’ CPU resources without their permission, which has the effect of slowing down their computers and negatively impacting their browsing experience.
In-browser cryptomining has an important limitation: It stops when users close down the tab where the mining code is running. However, it seems some attackers have now found a way around that.
Researchers from antivirus firm Malwarebytes have spotted a new technique being used in a recent cryptomining attack launched from an adult website through an ad network. The mining code was executed in a new browser window that was specifically sized and positioned to be hidden behind the Windows taskbar.
Therefore, even if the victim closes all visible browser windows by clicking on their X button, the hidden one will remain open and will continue to mine Monero. The browser process consuming CPU resources will be visible in the Windows Task Manager, but most users are unlikely to check there if they think the browser has been closed.
“Unscrupulous website owners and miscreants alike will no doubt continue to seek ways to deliver drive-by mining, and users will try to fight back by downloading more adblockers, extensions and other tools to protect themselves,” the Malwarebytes researchers said in a blog post. “If malvertising wasn’t bad enough as is, now it has a new weapon that works on all platforms and browsers.”
Apple’s MacOS Root Patch Breaks File Sharing
Apple released an emergency update Wednesday to fix a serious flaw in macOS High Sierra that could have allowed attackers to re-enable the root account and log in without a password.
The patch was released in a rush, less than 24 hours after the vulnerability was publicly disclosed. Some users have reported problems with accessing file shares on their Macs after installing the update.
Apple has published a support article with instructions on how to repair file sharing. It involves opening a Terminal window, typing “sudo /usr/libexec/configureLocalKDC” (without quotes) and providing the administrator password when prompted.
Cisco Patches Critical Vulnerabilities in WebEx Suite
Cisco Systems released updates for several of its WebEx products to fix six vulnerabilities, four of which can potentially be exploited to achieve remote code execution.
The flaws stem from the parsing of Cisco Advanced Recording Format (ARF) and WebEx Recording Format (WRF) files, which are used to store recordings of WebEx meetings. The vulnerabilities affect the WebEx Network Recording Players that are downloaded and installed on users’ systems when they try to play meeting recordings stored in those formats.
“A remote attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities by providing a user with a malicious ARF or WRF file via email or URL and convincing the user to launch the file,” Cisco said in an advisory Wednesday. “Exploitation of these vulnerabilities could cause an affected player to crash and, in some cases, could allow arbitrary code execution on the system of a targeted user.”
The WebEx Network Recording Players are also bundled with Cisco WebEx Business Suite WBS30, WBS31 and WBS32; Cisco WebEx Meetings and Cisco WebEx Meeting Server. The company released updates for these products and encourages customers to install them, as there are no other workarounds for mitigating the flaws.