The New Cryptojacking Scam Posing As a Google Translate App

The New Cryptojacking Scam Posing As a Google Translate App

Despite the vast expanse of Google’s resources, tools, and apps, they are still yet to release a desktop app for Google Translate.

However, given that they have released one for smartphone users, it’s easy to assume that a desktop app on the Play Store or Apple Store is legitimate.

And this is precisely what scammers are hoping for.

But the only way Google Translate can be accessed is via the company’s webpage. This is a fact that not enough people currently know about.

The Checkpoint Research Report

IT security group, Checkpoint Research (CRP) published a report this week on its discovery of a new cryptojacking software hidden within a fake Google Translate desktop app.

The company detected a previously undisclosed crypto mining campaign, called Nitrokod, which potentially infected thousands of machines worldwide.

Part of the report stated that Nitrokod was “Created by a Turkish-speaking entity, the campaign dropped malware from free software available on popular websites such as Softpedia and uptodown. The software can also be easily found through Google when users search ‘Google Translate Desktop download’”.

Building Trust

Many people think that when you download a scam app, you’ll instantly notice. Perhaps the screen will go blank or static, or maybe the keys will type on their own.

But this is rarely the case.

Often, when you have downloaded malware or an illegitimate app, you may not notice it for a long time. Those who create these apps need as much time as possible to gain access to your computer, files, passwords, banks, folders, investments, etc.

So, they design the apps to function as they should. Thus gaining your trust that you are using a legitimate app, and being none the wiser about any hidden activity that is taking place in the background.

The creators will take extensive steps to hide from multiple security protocols meaning your accounts could be drained or your portfolios are stolen without you even noticing.

Programs to Look Out For

Nitrokod has been able to infiltrate download sites such as Softpedia and Uptodown, both of which have marked it as safe even though it is malware.

  • The programs known to be infected are desktop versions of:
  • Google Translate
  • Yandex Translate
  • Microsoft Translator
  • YouTube Music
  • An unnamed auto-shutdown app

What to Do Next

If you have downloaded any of these programs recently, or desktop apps that you’re not sure about, uninstall them immediately.

If you aren’t sure, just a quick Google search will tell you if a company has released a desktop app or not.

Unfortunately, because desktop apps of the above programs don’t exist, the cryptojacking versions are currently ranking highly due to the fact people are being duped into thinking they’re real and there is no legitimate competition stopping them.

Cryptojacking Is On the Rise

Unfortunately, cryptojacking, like all scams, is on the rise.

Cryptojacking is a cybercrime that involves scammers using people’s devices such as their computer, tablet, or phone without them knowing. They use these devices, or even the victim’s server to mine for cryptocurrency.

Like more or less all cybercrime, the end goal is financial gain for the scammer and a loss for you.

Protect Yourself

You can read several blogs we have published that help you identify crypto scams and what to do if you think you have been on the receiving end.

Check out these posts below:

  1. Cryptojacking - the Cryptocurrency Scam You Need to Know About
  2. Common Cryptocurrency Scams: What to Know and How to Avoid Them
  3. How to Spot Ponzi Schemes Using Cryptocurrencies

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