Sunday, October 15, 2017

Forget Ransomware, hackers targeting your pc to become part of their network of Bitcoin miners

Earlier this year, pc's with older operating systems around the world became inundated with a Ransomware virus that demanded anyone from individuals to hospitals being forced send a certain ransom of Bitcoins so that their systems could be unlocked, and their data recovered.  However with the meteoric rise in price of Bitcoin here in 2017, a new type of threat to computer systems is taking place and most people may not be noticing it.

Hacking devices with malware to become part of a global Bitcoin mining network.

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Graphic courtesy of ZD Net
According to a new report from Adguard, in a matter of weeks, 2.2 percent of the top 100,000 websites on the Alexa list are now mining through user PCs. 
In total, 220 sites that launch mining when a user opens their main page, with an aggregated audience of 500 million people. 
CoinHive and JSEcoin are currently the most popular scripts being employed to hunt down cryptocurrency, and Adguard estimates that these domains have earned roughly $43,000 in a three-week period at little or no cost. 
It has been estimated that The Pirate Bay may be able to make roughly $12,000 per month from mining cryptocurrency, due to the domain's heavy flow of traffic.
Until this issue is resolved, take note -- adblockers will generally block these scripts. It is up to domain operators and cryptocurrency mining script developers to work together to make this a viable alternative, and in the meantime, you can ensure your CPU is safe. - ZD Net
Unfortunately, the consequences of having your pc stealthily taken over to become a cryptocurrency miner include medium to severe slowdowns in your everyday processing power, and a potential increase to your electricity costs since it is now estimated that the amount of energy needed to mine a single Bitcoin today is enough to power a home for an entire month

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