Posted: March 19, 2015
The following fields listed on the Threat Meter containing a specific value, are explained in detail below:
Threat Level: The threat level scale goes from 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest level of severity and 1 is the lowest level of severity. Each specific level is relative to the threat's consistent assessed behaviors collected from SpyHunter's risk assessment model.
Detection Count: The collective number of confirmed and suspected cases of a particular malware threat. The detection count is calculated from infected PCs retrieved from diagnostic and scan log reports generated by SpyHunter.
Volume Count: Similar to the detection count, the Volume Count is specifically based on the number of confirmed and suspected threats infecting systems on a daily basis. High volume counts usually represent a popular threat but may or may not have infected a large number of systems. High detection count threats could lay dormant and have a low volume count. Criteria for Volume Count is relative to a daily detection count.
Trend Path: The Trend Path, utilizing an up arrow, down arrow or equal symbol, represents the level of recent movement of a particular threat. Up arrows represent an increase, down arrows represent a decline and the equal symbol represent no change to a threat's recent movement.
% Impact (Last 7 Days): This demonstrates a 7-day period change in the frequency of a malware threat infecting PCs. The percentage impact correlates directly to the current Trend Path to determine a rise or decline in the percentage.
|March 20, 2015
The Claymore CryptoNote, a Potentially Unwanted Program that uses your PC's hardware to generate or 'mine' cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, also doubles as a cryptocurrency miner. Although this function does not categorize the Claymore CryptoNote as threatening software, malware experts often witness Bitcoin miners like the Claymore CryptoNote being exploited by real threats. If you find that the Claymore CryptoNote was installed automatically, then you should remove the Claymore CryptoNote from your PC along with any potential threats through anti-malware scans and other, standard security procedures.
The Possessed Claymore Swinging through Your CPU
The Claymore CryptoNote is a freeware program that lets its users generate Bitcoins, Litecoins and other currency automatically by setting a percentage of their hardware for use with its calculations. Under normal circumstances, the Claymore CryptoNote requires your consent for its installation, along with an account on the Minergate website. However, malware experts have seen some cases of threats installing and running the Claymore CryptoNote automatically, turning infected systems into illicit revenue sources.
The threat installing the Claymore CryptoNote currently is unidentified and may include other threats. However, most infections observed by malware researchers thus far are traceable to pirated software downloads and torrenting activities, with functional program installers including bundles. Although the Claymore CryptoNote doesn't use stealth features of its own, third-party programs have been known to make various efforts to conceal its presence. Examples of such stealth routines predominantly exploit corrupted scripts disguised as Svchost.exe (a default component of Windows). If the Claymore CryptoNote is active, you may identify the Claymore CryptoNote through its unusual percentage usage of your CPU in Task Manager's Processes tab.
If left unchecked, cryptocurrency mining may cause system instability, degraded performance or even permanent damage to your hardware (in a worst case scenario). In addition to these risks, malware researchers occasionally see the Claymore CryptoNote-related threats implementing file encryption attacks. Such attacks may prevent you from using files of specified types (such as Office documents) by encrypting their data. Usually, this payload has the aim of forcing you to pay a ransom for a decryption service that may or may not be functional.
Dulling the Bite of the Claymore CryptoNote
To verify the total removal of unwanted installs of the Claymore CryptoNote, you should use anti-malware products for scanning your PC thoroughly and identifying any unwanted or toxic software. Active instances of the Claymore CryptoNote, like other cryptocurrency miners, normally are identifiable through visible symptoms, such as unusual system resource allocation. However, the threat responsible for installing the Claymore CryptoNote may not always show symptoms of its presence and may be a continued threat to your PC's security until deleted.
The recent, illicit campaigns for distributing the Claymore CryptoNote, besides placing importance on safe download sources, also show how legal software is exploitable for illegitimate purposes. Monitoring your computer for any unrecognized software may not allow you to detect sophisticated rootkits or other, high-level threats directly, but it can let you catch the symptoms of their payloads before any meaningful damage occurs.