The new discovery of this week consists of Cookieminer, a malware that steals browser cookies and other data on Apple Mac computers in order to steal cryptocurrencies. This discovery was made by cybersecurity researchers from Palo Alto Networks. In fact, they published research on Thursday detailing the security firm’s discovery of new malware that affects Apple’s Mac OS, or operating system.
The malware, dubbed CookieMiner, appears to be a variant of the similar OSX.DarthMiner malware that the security firm Malwarebytes detected in December which also targets Apple personal computers. Like the older malware, CookieMiner intercepts browser cookies related to cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet service providers’ websites visited by the victims. The malicious malware targets exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase, Poloniex, Bittrex, Bitstamp, and MyEtherWallet, in addition to any website having “blockchain” in its domain name.
Moreover, the malware can steal all the data saved on the Chrome browser including usernames, passwords, and even financial information. If successful at stealing that important information, hackers can gain full access to victims’ crypto exchange and wallet accounts in order to steal funds.
Furthermore, the malware also configures the system to load coin mining software on the operating system. This software is made to look like a Monero miner software (XMRig-type coinminer). In fact, though, it loads a coin miner that mines Koto, a lesser-known cryptocurrency that is associated with Japan.
As a recommendation, Miller-Osborn stated that people should never store any personal information like passwords or usernames in their web browsers. In addition, deleting cookies is important “especially when visiting financial accounts.”. Failing to do so may put your personal data on your Mac computer at risk of being accessed by Cookieminer and hackers in general.