Monero Mining Malware, alliteration at it’s finest. Monero has long been plagued by malware, viruses, hacks and bots, all of which have been designed to illicitly mine XMR from the Monero network. Why? Well Monero is quite exposed to these sorts of hacks, they are easy to execute and cheap to run, which means hackers can pull a profit.
Another key attraction to Monero is it’s enhanced privacy, it’s very easy for hackers to hide their identity when illicitly mining XMR tokens. Justin Ehrenhofer, the Head of the Malware Response Team at Monero has shed some light on this:
“Cybercriminals prefer XMR because of one thing: it’s confidential and crypto jackers don’t need to focus on organizations and authorities that follow what they do with a coin after its excavation. Secondly: Monero uses the Proof-of-Work calculation, the CPU is the same as for the GPU, therefore, damaged PCs are economical. These two aspects are progressive features, so hackers prefer to mine Monero rather than different digital currencies. ”
According to recent reports, it seems that Linux users could be most at risk of exposure to Monero Mining Malware. When a victim is exposed to this, their computer is unknowingly utilised as a part of a Monero mining set up, meaning the victims processing power and electricity is used to mine legitimate XMR tokens, that are then sent to the accounts of the hackers. It’s a common form of cryptojacking, one that can have big consequences.
According to A to Z Markets:
“A recent study showed that an increasing number of malware for mining cryptocurrencies is still aimed at large corporations, hijacking victims for alt-mine Monero (XMR). Recently detected Romanian group of hackers called Outlaw, as Palo Alto Networks study showed supposedly disables the Linux users cloud security measures to prevent detection of the malicious programs.”
It seems that some vulnerabilities within Linux means that it has been easy for hackers to install malware on Linux machines. These vulnerabilities lie ironically within the Linux cloud security measures.
In order to protect yourself from such hacks and attacks, you should ensure you keep your machine up to date and have a working antivirus system installed. By ensuring this is up to date and by staying safe online, you can greatly reduce your risk of being exposed to this sort of malware.