Cyber SecuritySecurity Culture

Not Just Your Data, Cryptominers Can Steal Your System Capacity Too

Cryptocurrencies, especially the more mature ones, face a challenge. Most, if not all, of the easy mining has been done by the cryptominers. As the amount of computational effort needed to mine one unit of currency rises, it is a negative ROI.

That is right. In many cases nowadays, it can cost more to mine a unit of cryptocurrency than the actual worth of the unit.

Let us look at a well-known example. My favorite currency conversion site tells me that 1 bitcoin is worth $6501.61.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

There is a wasp at the picnic. According to MarketWatch, the cost of mining a bitcoin in July 2018 varies from $531 to $26,170.

Putting that another way, depending on where you do it, mining a bitcoin might make you earn just under $6,000, or lose you just over $25,000.

This fact has not escaped the attention of the cryptominers. Instead of looking to steal your data striving, they are striving to steal your runtime resources. After all, if they are not paying for the systems or electricity, anything they gain is pure profit.

There are a couple of exploits among many worth watching out for.

  • PowerGhost, as reported here by Trend Micro, is a file-less malware. It uses a combination of complicated PowerShell scripts and EternalBlue to spread across the system. It hijacks resources as it goes.
  • Malicious docker container images, contaminated with malware, have been reported by Threatpost as earning their herders $90,000 in only 30 days.

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