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New Smart Adware Uses Your Computer Resources For Profit

By April 29, 2016March 2nd, 2023Blog, Technology News

millions_of_windows_xp_machines_are_not_secureRemember the good old days, when all Adware did was make your web browsing experience inconvenient by bombarding you with annoying popups? Sadly, those days appear to be over. There’s a new generation of Adware that goes far, far beyond that.

Recently, a particularly nasty variant called VLMiner was found. It’s clever, and is programmed with a number of evasive maneuvers in order to evade detection. Before it runs, for example, it performs a check to see whether you have an antivirus program running. If you do, the installation aborts. It also checks to see if you’ve got a high end graphics card installed on your machine. Again, if one is not detected, the installation will abort.

If you’re unprotected, and have a good graphics card, the installation proceeds. Once completed, every time you log onto your computer, the Adware logs on and uses your graphics card to begin mining for virtual currency. In this case, the currency its mining for is “Decred.”

Of course, any currency mined by your PC goes to the owners of the Adware, so they’re using your PC without your knowledge, running your high end graphics card at 70% capacity, which will hinder the performance of any applications you run that rely heavily on the graphics card. In addition though, running your graphics card at 70% capacity like that uses a notable amount of electricity, raising your monthly bill, and will invariably shorten the lifespan of your card.

If you’re a legitimate currency miner, those things are okay, because that’s part of the tradeoff. You trust that the value of any currency mined will exceed the costs to your equipment and the increase in your monthly electricity bill.

The Adware owners though, are foisting those costs onto the unsuspecting public, and reaping all the gains. Worst of all, it’s not illegal. There are almost no laws governing Adware, and as this latest example demonstrates, it’s well past time to change that.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.