We probably won’t surprise you that cryptocurrency mining requires a huge amount of computing power and serious investments to make it worthwhile.
According to cryptocurrency expert Jordan Tuwiner at Buy Bitcoin Worldwide, underpowered rigs are more likely to spend on electricity than they mine Bitcoin. It also was said that rewards mining Bitcoin are estimated to decrease every four years, and in 2016 was halved to 12.5 BTC. What is more, profitable mining requires custom ASIC hardware so at the moment it is mostly an enterprise endeavor.
As a result, even though Bitcoin is still the most preferred and the most valuable cryptocurrency, Monero or Zcash have now become the biggest targets for cryptocurrency mining malware.
Legitimate ad alternatives
One of the legitimate advertising alternatives is CoinHive – the revenue stream for websites that ask for visitors to donate the computing power. A torrent website Pirate Bay was one of the first websites to adopt this practice. Unfortunately, Pirate Bay did not inform the visitors how to opt-out of the miner.
As a result, CoinHive announced AuthedMine overthrow a clear opt-in from the user to run the miner.
In addition, the legitimate miner can be used by cybercriminals. The websites can be easily compromised with the miner code, like what happened with the official ShowTime sites. Moreover, it can be spread out like a malware.
New ways and new tricks
Cybercriminals use typical malvertising channels to disperse cryptocurrency malware. These ways include malicious sites, spam emails, or potentially unwanted apps also known as PAUs. In addition, malware is used to create botnets that mine cryptocurrency.
However, hackers look for new ways and methods for this malicious but profitable activity.
For example, Cloud services were abused. The Register reported that unprotected cloud systems were hijacked to mine Monero cryptocurrency.
In addition, mods were created for the game GTA V that allowed the attacker behind it to mine Monero, using the users’ who downloaded the game’s computing power.
Cybercriminals and attackers constantly search for new methods to generate profit by mining cryptocurrency, especially when its value gains and becomes more acceptable by financial organizations.
Make sure to defend against the threats
Always be vigilant, always keep your system and software updated and patched, ensure to change your default passwords on both your work and personal devices. What is more, ensure to use a trustful and quality Internet security solution that will protect you from cryptocurrency mining malware and similar threats.