Your smart-home devices can potentially be used as cryptocurrency miners

by Julie Splinters - -

Cybercriminals are very well-known for illegal attempts at encrypting files for ransom and steal personal information or data. However, most people are not familiar with malicious actors that mine cryptocurrency. In doing so, cybercriminals are able to bypass barriers and go straight for cryptocurrency that guarantees anonymity. iot devices hacked

According to the recent research by Trend Micro, a volume of smart home devices that are being infected is growing. In fact, an increase by 90% of home network mining activities from July to September was detected. Devices, including home routers, smartphones or IP cameras could be turned into cryptocurrency miners by cybercriminals.[1]

It is worth mentioning that victims do not even have a clue that their router or camera has been compromised. The only hint could be a slight performance lag.

Cryptocurrency mining malware trend increases

Cybercriminals began to mine Cryptocurrency about the same time it actually started to appear. In addition, cryptocurrency value increases constantly, for example, Bitcoin worth rises rapidly – from approximately $1,00 in April to more than $4,000 in October.

Cryptocurrency mining malware called REDATUP first stroke South America in May of 2017 and continues its mining activities until now. Machines infected with malware creates collective power and allows groups behind the malware to generate significant profits.

In order to mine cryptocurrency, a huge volume of computing power and resources are required. In addition, the increasing value of cryptocurrency attracts cybercriminals to employ more aggressive and illegal methods.

Since attacks employing ransomware only allows attackers to receive the amount which the victim will pay, mining allows criminals to take the money directly.

How do the miners get to your home?

When it comes to vulnerable IoT devices, they are easy to compromise by a range of malware. The Mirai botnet has infected millions of smart home devices and created the massive botnet – the largest one which was ever detected.

The most commonly used method to compromise IoT devices is the exploitation of unsecured home routers. Thus, the majority of your home-network devices are connected to the router which becomes the access to your IoT devices. So, if the router is compromised, all the devices connected to it also could get easily compromised and joined to the botnet which uses its power to mine cryptocurrency.

What can be done to protect your router and IoT devices?

  • Change your credentials and create complicated passwords;
  • Keep all your devices up to date – it is a good protection against the latest vulnerabilities;
  • For home routers, enable its firewall;
  • Use antivirus software and security solutions for the router.

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - VPN service analyst

Julie Splinters is a VPN service analyst at, who specializes in VPN services and anti-spyware applications. Her major of English Philology and her passion for IT helped her choose the path of an IT writer.

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