Cybercriminals turn infected PCs into bitcoin miners

Two newly discovered botnets are largely found to exploit virtual currency based on blockchain technology (“mines”) for cybercriminals. In one case, researchers could estimate that a network of 4,000 machines could give owners $ 30,000 a month. In another case, the researchers witnessed that the criminals dragged over $ 200,000 with a botnet of 5,000 pcs.

The botnets have been discovered by the Kaspersky Lab Anti-Malware Research team. The criminals behind this botnets spread mining software using victims voluntarily installed adware programs. After the adware program is installed on the victim’s computer, a malicious component is downloaded: the miner installer. This component installs the mining software and also performs some activities to ensure that the miner continues to work for as long as possible. These activities include:

  • An attempt to disable the security software;
  • Tracking all application launchers and interrupting their own activities as a program that starts monitoring system activities or rotating processes;
  • Make sure that the mining software is always on the hard disk and reset it when it is removed.

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