The versatile Stantinko botnet that's been targeting former Soviet nations since at least 2012 has added a Monero cryptomining module to its arsenal.

Stantinko historically has perpetrated click fraud, ad injections, social network fraud and brute-force password stealing attacks, primarily targeting Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. But this latest module, discovered by researchers at ESET, has been a major source of Stantinko's monetization since at least August 2018, ESET malware analyst Vladislav Hrcka notes in a Nov. 26 company blog post.

Described by ESET as a "highly modified version of the xmr-stark open source cryptominer," Stantinko's mining module, dubbed CoinMiner.Stantinko, is so powerful that it can "exhaust most of the resources of the compromised machine."

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