Miners play a crucial role in blockchain tech. Miners are the one responsible for confirming transactions. Unfortunately, crypto mining isn’t exactly easy. You will need to have sophisticated computers and even shoulder high electricity bills in order to ensure everything is going to run smoothly without any problem. Unfortunately, there are a lot of issues surrounding crypto mining. A few weeks ago, there was a report of stolen crypto mining hardware being recovered in China.
Also, there are hackers that make use of the technique called cryptojacking wherein your computer end up secretly mining crypto assets. Last year, there was an increasing number of cases according to IBM Managed Security Services. And one recent malware program is now hiding on Amazon’s cloud. It has the capacity to steal processing power on ordinary computers.
The Xbooster Malware has been able to infect computers that run on Windows. It has been able to harvest around $100,000-worth of Monero according to Krishna Narayanaswamy who is the founder and chief scientist for Netskope.
Why Monero? Monero has been recently included in the cryptos to be delisted on Coincheck mainly because of the additional anonymity that it provides its users. And this is also not surprising as to why Monero is the favorite cryptocurrency used by white supremacist groups and other individuals who are doing illegal activities.
Found in the Cloud
The Xbooster malware is hosted in the cloud on AWS or Amazon Web Services. From here, the malware then installs two programs on the affected computer. One of which is the monero miner while the other program is the manager that connects to the server.
So how do people install this malware? They simply click the link in a “drive-by download”. It is usually something done by sending email campaigns. Or, there is also a chance that the malware is actually going hand in hand with other programs such as a freeware.
An AWS spokesman mentioned in the statement that “AWS employs a number of mitigating techniques, both manual and automated, to prevent the misuse of the services”. The spokesman added that “We have automatic systems in place that detect and block many attacks before they leave our infrastructure. Our terms of usage are clear and when we find misuse we take action quickly and shut it down”.
Why Not Bitcoin?
The main reason as to why Monero is usually mined is the fact that it becomes too hard to mine Bitcoin. This is also the reason why there is the existence of other altcoins hoping to answer problems encountered within the Bitcoin network. In fact, you will need a massive warehouse if you want to run a profitable Bitcoin mining campaign. You also need a lot of money in order to start buying the latest hardware for Bitcoin mining. And for this reason, Monero is the more practical option.
Used by UNICEF
Recently, UNICEF decided to take donations online by asking their visitors to contribute their computing power in order to mine Monero. And with their attempts to get people to donate their processing power, UNICEF was able to get thousands of participants to donate their computer’s computational power.