A cybersecurity note released by KasperskyLab states that botnets are increasingly being used to distribute illegal cryptocurrency miningMining
– is a type of activity for creating new blocks in the Blockchain to ensure proper system operation. Details software, as reported by KasperskyLab on November 28.
On Wednesday, cybersecurity analysts said in a note that the number of unique users exposed to hidden mining programs has increased dramatically. Such malware is designed to covertly redistribute the computing power of an "infected" machine. That is, the "infected" equipment uses its computational capabilities for the extraction of cryptocurrency, but not for the owner’s wallet, but for the intruders.
According to Kaspersky, more users were infected in September than in January, and "the threat is still relevant." Although it is unclear whether the recent collapse in prices on the cryptocurrency market will affect the mass infection rate.
"The data we obtained indicate that the owners of many well-known botnets switched their attack vector to mining cryptocurrency (...) For example, the activity of the DDoS bot net Yoyo has plummeted, although there is no data on its dismantling" – KasperskyLab.
A possible explanation for cybercriminals' heightened interest in crypto-engineering is that after the spread of malware, victims find it difficult to detect the virus, and even if the police are detected, it is almost impossible to find the culprit. Of the various types of software identified and cataloged, most reconfigure the use of a computer's processor to allocate a small amount of power for the extraction of cryptocurrencies.
The organization also examined the causes of the prevalence of this type of malware in some regions compared to others. According to the results of the study, regions with a weak legislative base for regulating "pirated" and illegally distributed software are more likely to become victims of cryptograms.
The smallest number of "infections" was among American users, constituting only 1.33 percent of the total number detected. The USA was followed by users in Switzerland and the UK. Regarding countries with weak regulation of piracy laws, such as Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Indonesia, they topped the list.
"The more freely unlicensed software is distributed, the more hidden mining programs will be. This is confirmed by our statistics, which shows that hidden mining programs most often fall on victim computers along with pirated software." – KasperskyLab.
Editor: Yuliya Soroka