Fraudsters use the Pokemon NFT game to hack computers

Players who consider they’re downloading an NFT game from the common Pokémon franchise onto their computers may very well be downloading a virus that permits fraudsters to entry their machines remotely.

The new assault was found by Ahnlab, a South Korean cybersecurity firm.

In a report printed on Friday (6), the firm exhibits how these scammers steal customers’ private data, which is later used to blackmail them.

In one instance introduced by the firm, this phishing assault was distributed on a web site masquerading as an NFT Pokémon card game. Upon accessing the web page, the person is prompted to click on the “Play on PC” button to set up the game on the PC. However, in doing so, the person downloads a program known as NetSupport RAT as an alternative of the Pokémon game.

Fake Pokémon NFT Game Website Spreading Malware (Source: AhnLab)

At its core, NetSupport isn’t malware, however a instrument that can be utilized by atypical folks or companies to handle techniques remotely. However, this identical instrument might be hidden in rogue packages to grant distant entry to attackers. In these circumstances, NetSupport receives the abbreviation RAT, which in English means “distant entry trojans”.

“The NetSupport RAT has been constantly utilized by threats and has continued to be utilized in current days. It spreads by means of spam emails or phishing pages masquerading as real packages,” Ahnlab analysts clarify, citing the pretend Pokémon NFT game for instance.

How a pc will get contaminated

The fraudulent web site and program downloaded to the person’s laptop have the look of a legit Pokémon NFT game. The downloaded file has an authentic franchise icon that makes customers mistake it for the game program and launch it.

Once downloaded, the cheat program is masked with the Pokémon logo (Source: AhnLab)
Once downloaded, the cheat program is masked with the Pokémon emblem (Source: AhnLab)

When this occurs, the program creates a hidden recordsdata folder, putting in the NetSupport RAT on the person’s machine.

When NetSupport is launched, the program reads the hidden recordsdata and establishes a connection between the machine and the fraudster’s NetSupport server, thereby permitting the fraudster entry and management over the contaminated system.

“Features supported by NetSupport by default embody not solely distant display screen management but additionally system management features reminiscent of display screen seize, clipboard sharing, net historical past assortment, file administration and command execution.” , the specialists clarify.

Thus, fraudsters have a variety of choices for malicious actions they’ll carry out on a person’s machine, whether or not it is stealing passwords and knowledge to blackmail victims, or putting in different viruses on hacked computers.

This assault is current and has been in circulation since December 2022. In addition to the game Pokémon NFT, the NetSupport RAT additionally hides in common packages reminiscent of the Visual Studio video editor.

Experts warn customers that this virus can also be unfold by means of spam emails disguised as pretend invoices, transport 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,” Ahnlab analysts advise.

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