Cybercriminals Exploit Kobe Bryant’s Demise

31 January 2020 | Updated: 31 January 2020

Some opportunistic cybercriminals have begun illegally exploiting the death of world-renowned basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who passed away on the 26th of January, by embedding bugs on the internet for those looking for mementos of the superstar.

Microsoft Security Intelligence alerted through a tweet on the 31st of January that hackers were embedding malicious HTML codes that contain a crypto-jacking command in desktop wallpapers of the NBA VIP.

Crypto-jacking is an illegal practice where hackers maliciously hijack the computer systems of unsuspecting victims and use their processing power to mine cryptocurrencies remotely.

Following the tragic helicopter crash which claimed the lives of all the passengers on board including Kobe, his 13-year old daughter Gianna, a college basketball coach, the pilot, a college baseball coach with his daughter and wife, and another friend to Kobe’s and her son, there has been a significant increase in interest from both fans and the public.

Sadly, cybercriminals saw this as a good opportunity to perpetuate their illegal practice. The more people search for images and information on the deceased star, the more victims the hackers got to take advantage of.

The Microsoft crew discovered the malicious file, Trojan: HTML/Brocoiner.N!lib with its Defender Virus Protection application. The crypto-jacking command was masked as a desktop image wallpaper of Kobe. Also, it was discovered that the website hosting the coin miner was blocked by the application.

Well-Intentioned or Opportunistic?
Kobe’s demise caused an outflow of grief from social media, notably from the founder of Tron, Justin Sun. Kobe was an ardent believer of cryptocurrency (Tron in particular) and recently spoke about the prospects of blockchain alongside Sun at the niTROn conference in 2019.

Some days ago, Sun declared that this year’s niTROn conference would be held in respect to the late superstar. However, he came under heavy criticism from social media with many describing his action as opportunistic and disgraceful.

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.