Scammers use Pokémon NFT games to hack computers

Players who imagine they’re downloading NFT games from the well-known Pokémon franchise onto their computers are literally downloading a virus that permits scammers to entry their machines remotely.

The new assault was disclosed by Ahnlab, a South Korean cyber safety firm.

In a report revealed on Friday (6), the corporate has proven how these scammers used to steal customers’ private info, later extorting cash from them.

In one occasion cited by the corporate, this phishing assault unfold over an internet site disguised as an NFT Pokémon card recreation. Upon accessing the web page, the person is prompted to click on on the “Play on PC” button to set up the sport on the pc. However, in doing so, the person downloads a program known as NetSupport RAT as an alternative of the Pokémon recreation itself.

Fake Pokémon NFT recreation web site spreading malware (Source: AhnLab)

At its core, NetSupport shouldn’t be malware, however a software that extraordinary folks or companies can use to remotely management techniques. However, this similar software will be hidden in malicious applications to present distant entry to attackers. In these instances, NetSupport receives the abbreviation RAT, which in English means “distant entry trojan”.

“The NetSupport RAT has been used constantly by risk actors and remains to be in use in current instances. It is distributed as native applications through spam e mail or phishing pages”, clarify the AhnLabs analysts, citing pretend Pokémon NFT games for instance.

how does a pc get contaminated

The NFTs within the fraudulent web site and program downloaded to the person’s pc seem to be professional Pokémon games. The downloaded file has an unique franchise icon which leads customers to confuse it with the sport program and run it.

Once downloaded, the malicious program disguises itself as the Pokémon logo (Source: AhnLab)
Once downloaded, the trojan horse disguises itself because the Pokémon brand (Source: AhnLab)

When this occurs, this system creates a folder with hidden information on the person’s machine, putting in the NetSupport RAT.

When NetSupport is run, this system reads the hidden information and establishes a connection between the machine and the scammer’s NetSupport server, thus permitting the scammer entry and management of the contaminated system.

“Features supported by NetSupport by default embody not solely distant display management, but additionally system management options corresponding to display capturing, clipboard sharing, amassing net historical past info, managing information, and executing instructions.”, Let the specialists clarify.

As such, scammers have a variety of choices for the malicious actions they will carry out on a person’s machine, whether or not stealing passwords and knowledge to extort victims, in addition to putting in different viruses on hacked computers. Doing.

This assault is current and has been in circulation since December 2022. In addition to the Pokémon NFT games, NetSupport RATs are additionally being hidden in common applications such because the Visual Studio video editor.

Experts warn customers that this virus can be spreading by means of spam emails disguised as pretend invoices, delivery paperwork and buy orders.

“When putting in software program from exterior sources, customers can purchase or obtain them from their official web sites and keep away from opening attachments in suspicious emails,” the Ahnlab analysts suggested.

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