A large-scale crypto scam has happened this very week, with news of 'a free game' that was on gaming platform steam having been used to distribute crypto mining malware to very many users.
Steam itself is a gaming and social platform that enables users to easily purchase and download a variety of games, from old first class to new games and ignorable indie games developed to possess the mind for mere minutes at a moment. It is, therefore, this latter class that has been applied to illegally mine crypto from unaware users.
According to pcgamesn.com, the game is known as Abstractism, it is obfuscating a crypto miner:
“It appears that a game marketed on Steam as a “relaxing” and “absolutely trivial” platformer is, in fact, a prophylactic for some truly grimy money-making ploys. The game has dropped Steam trading items that closely imitate rare items from other games, such as TF2, in an apparent bid to scam item traders. More egregious still, it appears to contain an executable that may help the devs use your computer to mine cryptocurrency, and is flagged as a trojan by several antivirus packages. The game is called Abstractism, and the shady things it does came to our attention through a YouTube video and a TF2 forum post, both of which dropped over the weekend.”
This also appears to be one way of how malevolent mining is very trivial to merge into daily activities. Decorously normal applications and downloads can obfuscate criminal crypto miners that are developed to exploit your computing power. This doesn't only slow down your machine but also increases your power consumption and thus, shoots up your power bills. Scams of this nature are so prosperous, as you can observe from this model, the malware is very easy to obfuscate, yet so difficult to detect.
Firstly, only download software from widely trusted sources, even so, this alone isn't sufficient to maximally protect you.
Make it a point to have the best, up-to-date antivirus App or software on your PC, especially one that permits you to update regularly.
Finally, in case you recognize your machine functioning slowly when executing particular activities, immediately investigate it. And if you get something adverse, hurry to inspect your antivirus and then inspect the forums.
As prevention is better than cure, protecting yourself is more paramount, as its the only way to combat this illicit crime away forever and ever.