As Cryptocurrency Market Is Growing Rapidly, Malware Too Joins the Party

Though the cryptocurrency market is growing at a rapid pace, the related activities have also been seeing hectic activities, especially the malware. The world is seeing a plethora of fresh digital coins hitting the market in the current year despite fluctuations in the value of the listed virtual assets currently. As the acceptance level of the digital currency is also increasing around the world, modern malware is also emerging thus attacking computer systems globally. That leaves sometimes hijacking to mine taking advantage of the victim’s available resources.

Malware Is proliferating

There is a huge opportunity for crypto-malware, and this would not be a surprising factor. Though the cryptocurrencies offer a specific level of anonymity and even profit, the sector is possibly facing the worst of malware, Forbes reported. The latest trend of crypto-jacking malware is to use the device of end user so that they could produce digital currency on visiting an infected site. The world has already seen more than $1 billion is stolen from the virtual currency in the current year alone despite most of the virtual assets price dropped from last year end.

The risk is increasing as more and more websites adapt the practice of mining cryptocurrency through visitors rather than running ads to fund their businesses. For instance, The Pirate Bay, a famous torrent web portal, ran a bitcoin-miner as an alternative to ads. This has resulted in the user’s electricity usages and central processing units to considerable levels and at the same time degrade the device’s performance level. Incidentally, revenue from advertising is also showing weakness. Bitcoin is one of the most popular digital assets that were generated through mining.

It is not an easy task of mining since it requires specialized rigs with specialized hardware apart from the significant amount of power. There are also different types of algorithms using to mine cryptocurrency, and some of them consume more computing power compared to the rest. However, malware could allow criminals to print money directly for the first time.

The days of a conventional type of accessing a computer through compromising event has gone, i.e., either through plugins or third-party applications. This was also evident when over 5,000 websites of Australian and other government websites were hijacked. Currently, hackers make use of a browser-injected mining Javascript to mine digital coins.

Unwilling Participants

During the process, users would not be aware that they were participating in the mining of a virtual currency once the hackers load a compromised web portal. It would not be easy for users to detect the malware since the code runs in the background only. This is a double-edged sword for cybercriminals. Users could not find out when the system is running since it runs only when the user is on the web portal.

However, the latest research by Jerome Segura came out with a simple technique that enables the continuance of mining despite the window of a compromised website being closed. The adopted trick is to create a pop-up hidden window and hide it from the view of the user sizing to fit under the taskbar.

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