Microsoft said it's tracking an ongoing large-scale click fraud campaign targeting gamers by means of stealthily deployed browser extensions on compromised systems.
"[The] attackers monetize clicks generated by a browser node-webkit or malicious browser extension secretly installed on devices," Microsoft Security Intelligence said in a sequence of tweets over the weekend.
The tech giant's cybersecurity division is tracking the developing threat cluster under the name DEV-0796.
Attack chains mounted by the adversary commence with an ISO file that's downloaded onto a victim's machine upon clicking on a malicious ad or comments on YouTube. The ISO file, when opened, is designed to install a browser node-webkit (aka NW.js) or rogue browser extension.
It's worth noting that the ISO file masquerades as hacks and cheats for the Krunker first-person shooter game. Cheats are programs that help gamers gain an added advantage beyond the available capabilities during gameplay.
Also used in the attacks in place of ISO images are DMG files, which are Apple Disk Image files primarily used to distribute software on macOS, indicating that the threat actors are targeting multiple operating systems.
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The findings arrive as Kaspersky disclosed details of another campaign that lures gamers looking for cheats on YouTube into downloading self-propagating malware capable of installing crypto miners and other information stealers.
"Malware and unwanted software distributed as cheat programs stand out as a particular threat to gamers' security, especially for those who are keen on popular game series," the Russian cybersecurity firm said in a recent report.