Norway is hardly known as a source of deadly viruses, but last week it spawned mining malware which is infecting a growing number of computers across the globe.
The Norwegian Center for Information Security (NorSiS) explained that the virus is being transmitted via Facebook as a private message, recognizable by its form of message text “lol” and an attached file Pic_00783.zip.
Clicking on the file begins a process for mining Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, causing significant burdening of the computer’s processor and slowing the machine down considerably. “The computer gets infected as soon as you download the image and open the attachment,” senior advisor Vidar Sandland confirmed to VG.
The virus was first discovered by Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor. It is as yet unclear how prevalent it has become internationally, although the spread is “significant,” according to Sandland.
He added, however, that the virus was primarily a Norwegian phenomenon due to the high infiltration of Java. However, it does not affect mobile platforms and only Windows computers are susceptible.
Nevertheless, “nothing prevents malware from mutating to do other things,” he cautioned, adding “Right now there is not any antivirus software that detects and removes the virus and it is worrying, although we expect that more suppliers will gradually become able to detect and remove the virus.”
In the meantime, NorSiS recommends updating antivirus software and, of course, not to download the message, which has been received by some Norwegian users up to six times in the past week.