Rise of Cryptojacking with Majority involving Monero

A joint effort by two researchers, Sergio Pastrana and Guillermo Suarez-Tangil from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and King’s College London, respectively, analyzed huge areas of malware over a twelve-year period and have reported that hackers have mined at least 4.32 percent of the total Monero in circulation. In simple monetary terms, that comes out to more than $56 million in profits.

Pastrana and Suarez-Tangil wrote:

“Overall, we estimate there are at least 2,218 active campaigns that have accumulated about 720K XMR (57M USD). Interestingly just a single campaign (C#623) has mined more than 163K XMR (18M USD), which accounts for about 23% of the total estimated. This campaign is still active at the time of writing.”

They stated the reasons behind the success of this unethical business is due to Monero’s relatively low cost and high return on investment. 

They further added,

“Our profit analysis is more reliable than those in related studies. Our findings complement these studies, corroborating that malicious crypto-mining is a growing and complex threat that requires effective countermeasures and intervention approaches.”

According to research from McAfee, instances of crypto-mining malware increased by well over 4,000 percent last year, a growth that was much greater for that of the previous period. 

Bad actors also experimented with other altcoins such as dogecoin or litecoin during 2013 and 2014 and then shifted back to bitcoin and monero, probably because these are more profitable.

Cryptomining malware, or simply, crypto jacking refers to software programs and malware components developed to take over a computer’s resources and use them for cryptocurrency mining without a user’s explicit permission.

Link to the original news article can be found here.

Image Courtesy: CryptoDaily.co.uk

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