More Reports of Malware Mining- 5 Percent of Monero Mined Through Malware
In a recent report published by Palo Alto Networks, it was revealed that at least 5 percent of Monero in circulation have been mined on user computers unknowingly infected with malware mining software.
The practice referred to as ‘cryptojacking’ has now been linked to the mining of $175 million worth of Monero Currency. Below is a chart listing the instances tracked in the report of cryptocurrencies being targeted by malicious miners.
Cryptojacking malware has been plaguing internet users with reports of 55% of businesses being affected worldwide, including Youtube. The malware can easily be contracted onto a computer simply by opening an email or visiting a website.
The popularity of malicious cryptocurrency mining has continued to rise, particularly over the last year as the cryptocurrency market has exploded to its current multi billion dollar market cap. The author of the Palo Alto Networks report, Josh Grunzweig, explains that,
‘Defeating cryptocurrency miners being delivered via malware proves to be a difficult task, as many malware authors will limit the CPU utilization, or ensure that mining operations only take place during specific times of the day or when the user is inactive. Additionally, the malware itself is delivered via a large number of methods, requiring defenders to have an in-depth approach to security.’
This report comes in the wake of a litany of other recent stories surrounding malware. Yesterday, Japanese daily news site, The Mainichi, reported Japanese police have launched an investigation surrounding a new incident of the most popular software used for cryptojacking, Coinhive, being detected.
Coinhive is a software available for commercial download, and is typically used as a means for users to make residual income through cryptocurrency mining. Installing the software gives permission to coinhive to use extra computing power for crypto mining in exchange for 30% of mining rewards given to the computer owner. However, the software has been co-opted by hackers to be used in malware which now infect countless computers worldwide.
Additionally, Guardicore reported last week that 40,000 computers had been infected with malware in a campaign called Operation Prowli. The operation was designed to serve multiple purposes including cryptojacking. The GuardiCore report states,
‘This multi-purpose operation targets a variety of platforms – CMS servers hosting popular websites, backup servers running HP Data Protector, DSL modems and IoT devices. Victim machines are monetized using a variety of methods, relying on internet trends such as digital currencies and traffic redirection. Traffic monetisation frauds are quite common and are based on redirecting website visitors from their legitimate destination to websites advertising malicious browser extensions, tech support scam services, fake services and more.’
Lastly in May, Finance Magnates reported that a new Cryptojacking Malware that crashes pcs if you try to remove it had infected 500,000 computers in 3 days.
As always its highly recommended users use extreme caution in protecting themselves on the web. In many cases sub-par antivirus software is not enough in protecting your computer from malware.
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