Malware groups are supposed to capture about 97 million dollars with the usage of hidden crypto miners. According to Palo Alto Networks Research, the year 2018 shows a great number of detected malware samples, which contained some forms of a crypto miner.
About 90% of malicious mining samples are targeted at the Monero coin, and about 8,5% — mine Bitcoin. These figures mean that around 5% of all the Monero currently in circulation (which is 15,962,350 XMR) has been mined using the code running on the devices previously hacked and “loaded” with malware.
Despite the fact, that mining Monero with malware has been flourishing, it turned out to be some controversial results for malware developers themselves. According to the research, the number of criminal groups, that manage to mine a significant amount, is pretty small. Though this was “likely due to the malware being unsuccessful,” the researchers noted that the malware’s financial successes could just be well hidden.
However, it’s worth noting that only 55% of the analyzed wallets earned 0.01 XMR or more and, of those around 10%, have earned 100 XMR or more. Furthermore, only 99 wallets earned more than 1,000 XMR and just 16 wallets contain more than 10,000 XMR.
Palo Alto Networks noted that stopping cryptocurrency mining malware continued to be a challenging issue. “Defeating cryptocurrency miners being delivered via malware proves to be a difficult task, as many malware authors will limit the CPU utilization, or ensure that mining operations only take place during specific times of the day or when the user is inactive,” the company said. Additionally, the malware itself is delivered via a vivid number of methods, requiring defenders to have an in-depth approach to security.
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