Monthly Archives: December 2018

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Cryptojacking: How malware hijacks foreign computers for crypto mining

The number of malignant mining infections, so-called cryptojacking, rose by 83 percent in 2018. In attacks of this kind, the miners abuse the CPU power of other computers for their own crypto mining. In the first three quarters of this year, Kaspersky Labs registered a total of five million attacks.

While the popularity of crypto currencies is growing – despite the bear market – the interest of cyber criminals in tapping this growth market is also growing. This is stated in a press release of Kaspersky Labs, which is available to BTC-ECHO. According to cyber security experts, 2018 was the year of crypto criminals.

Mining attacks in focus of the Bitcoin revolution

The Bitcoin revolution report focuses in particular on the importance of hidden mining software, which misuses the CPU resources of infected computers for its own crypto-mining. Accordingly, the infiltrated malware in some cases uses “70 to 80 percent of the CPU or graphics card performance to generate virtual coins”.

As can be seen in the graph, the number of cryptojacking attacks rose enormously in the spring; the continuing bear market then seems to have also spoiled the mood of cyber criminals. At the end of the third quarter, the level dropped slightly again, but still ranks above the level at the beginning of the year.

Criminal miners therefore follow a similar pattern to distributors of so-called ransom goods, because the only target of the attacks is their own enrichment. While ransomware infections are immediately noticeable, malicious mining attacks often remain hidden for a long time. This is what makes the attacks so interesting for hackers, according to the report.

“Cryptojacking differs for cyber criminals in that, if properly executed, it is impossible for the owner of an infected computer to detect [an attack] and the chances of [being prosecuted] are therefore low.

Distribution by unlicensed Bitcoin revolution software

The investigation has shown that a large part of the infection is due to installations of unlicensed or pirated Bitcoin revolution software. As a result, the rate is significantly higher in countries where there is typically a lot of unlicensed Bitcoin revolution software in circulation. Examples include countries such as Russia, India and Kazakhstan.

Social engineering increasingly important
So-called social engineering methods are also increasingly feeding cybercriminals with fish. The “advantage” of this method is that large botnets automatically propagate the infected software via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In this way, programmers achieve a targeted and area-wide distribution of the malware.

In this context, the so-called giveaway scams should not go unmentioned. As BTC-ECHO reports, there are a lot of fraudulent accounts on Twitter. Fake postings from prominent people promise to pay out large sums to Ether or Bitcoin, but in return demand a small amount in the respective crypto currency. Needless to say, the fraudsters then run away with their victims’ money.

The security architecture of the crypto ecosystem is likely to become an increasingly important issue in the future. At the moment, users are largely asked themselves not to fall for all the scams. The security experts at Malwarebytes nevertheless recommend “installing security before you become a victim”. Installing a mature firewall would be a good start.

Podcast: How meaningful is the market capitalization?

Market capitalization is one of the most recited metrics when it comes to evaluating a crypto currency like Bitcoin. But a closer look shows that this measure is not without it.

You know this: Open your browser and check the market capitalization of the crypto currencies first. After all, the market capitalization pages have experienced at least as much boom as the listed crypto currencies in recent years. What is behind it?

Why is there market capitalisation for Bitcoin secret?

The colourful world of Bitcoin secret is difficult to follow and it is even more difficult to classify developments according to onlinebetrug. From the equity world there is the metric of market capitalization. This is calculated by multiplying the number of shares issued by the price of a single share. The net result of this formula is the market capitalisation of the company in question.

Accordingly, the market capitalization of a crypto currency can be derived. Take the number of issued coins and multiply them by the current price of a coin. This makes it relatively easy to rank the crypto currencies. At first glance it can be seen that Bitcoin is the top. One gets the impression of order in the Wild West of crypto currencies.

What is the problem of cryptosoft?

Unfortunately, the market capitalization as calculated does not give a thorough insight into the world of cryptosoft. The cryptosoft can be manipulated in several ways. To illustrate this, let’s imagine creating an ERC-20 token with a fixed set of tokens that is available right at the beginning – the so-called MarketCapCoin. There are a total of 10,000,000 MarketCapCoins. If I now sell one of these tokens to my unsuspecting neighbor for one euro, my token would have a MarketCap of 10 million euros according to the above formula.

Here it quickly becomes apparent that market capitalisation is a fictitious value and says nothing about the invested capital or the quality of the crypto currency. The BTC-ECHO Podcast will tell you what other difficulties this measure entails and which metrics would be better.