Do you know that 40% of computers mining crypto are infected by malware? There are different types or forms of crypto hacks and scams.
While most hackers compromise crypto wallets through a private key to clear funds from a particular wallet, malware works similarly but with various techniques.
However, in this article, you will learn everything about crypto mining malware and how to detect crypto mining malware.
What Is Crypto Mining?
Crypto mining is one of the ways of making money from cryptocurrency; for instance, Bitcoin uses the proof of work mechanism — meaning anyone in the network can mine Bitcoin by validating transactions. So far, they have the requirements.
It’s a process whereby new coins are generated and put into circulation. It involves vast networks of computers around the world that verify and secure the blockchain network.
In simple terms, the miners maintain and secure the blockchain and get rewarded in return.
In October 2019, it required 12 trillion times more computing power to mine one bitcoin than it was when the first block was mined in January 2009. These days, bitcoin mining is done by reputable companies or groups of individuals who pool resources together.
What Is Crypto Mining Malware?
If you’re not familiar with malware, it’s software designed to cause harm or gain unauthorized access to a computer system.
In the case of crypto mining, hackers use malware to access individuals’ computer systems just to mine cryptocurrency without their authorization or consent.
It was a major issue in 2017 when bitcoin and altcoin prices skyrocketed, transforming crypto mining into a lucrative industry.
Google also reported that about 86% of Google cloud accounts were victims of malware by hackers to mine cryptocurrency. It’s worth noting that companies also become victims of malware, not just individuals alone.
Tesla’s cloud was compromised by malware, which utilized the processing power to mine cryptocurrencies in the background.
This malware utilizes the power of a device, be it a computer system or desktop — to mine cryptocurrency, and this mined crypto asset is sent to the hacker’s address.
Common Crypto-Mining Malware
There’s a popular crypto mining malware named “botnet.” According to Trend Micro, botnet malware has been found in 21 nations, with South Korea having the highest prevalence.
The attack exploits the fact that open ADB ports do not require authentication by default, and it is designed to spread to any system that has previously shared an SSH connection. SSH connections connect a wide range of devices, from mobile phones to Internet of Things (IoT) devices, implying that many products are vulnerable.
The bot utilizes the wget command to download the payload of three separate miners once it realizes it has entered a honeypot; if wget is not available on the compromised system, curl is used instead.
Depending on the system’s manufacturer, architecture, CPU type, and hardware, the virus chooses the miner that is most suitable to exploit the victim.
If existing miners are discovered using the system, the botnet tries to eliminate them by altering the host code and invalidating their URLs.
Malicious and odious crypto mining companies are constantly coming up with new ways to take advantage of their victims.
Another ADB exploit, which Trend Micro termed the Satoshi Variant, was seen last summer. Through brute-force attacks on servers, Outlaw has been seen in recent weeks distributing another Monero mining variant across China.
Researchers discovered an Android APK in the script, indicating Android devices may be the target at the moment, but they were unable to tell whether the botnet had started doing mining activities.
How To Detect Crypto Mining Malware
Malware is made to consume only as much power as it requires, and most of the time, it passes unnoticed. When your computer is affected by malware, there are some unusual activities that your computer may perform.
- Computer CPU (central processing unit) usage will become very high.
- The computer may work sluggishly and boisterously.
- The computer may start overheating, and this might make the system battery run down faster.
If you notice this in your system, it doesn’t necessarily mean your computer is mining cryptocurrency. Open Activity Monitor on a Mac or Task Manager on a PC to see which applications are utilizing the processing power of your computer.
How To Remove Crypto Mining Malware
Eradicating malware manually is a difficult process; it is typically recommended to let antivirus or anti-malware applications do it automatically. Experts advise utilizing Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to get rid of this malware.
But if you intend to do it manually, finding the name of the virus you want to delete is the initial step if you want to effectively eliminate malware.
If you used a task manager to look at the list of apps running on your computer and saw one that seemed suspicious, then follow the steps below to eliminate them.
- Download The Autoruns Software
This software displays the locations of the Registry, file system, and auto-start programs.
- Enter Safe Mode While Restarting Your Computer
Start your computer in Safe Mode if you are running Windows XP or Windows 7. Click Start, Shut Down, Restart, and then OK. Press the F8 key on your laptop repeatedly while your computer is starting up until you see the Windows Advanced Options menu, and then choose “Safe Mode” with networking from the list.
- Windows 8 Users
To start the “Safe Mode” with Networking in Windows 8, Go to the Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, and then select Settings from the search results. Select Advanced startup in the “General PC Settings” window that appears after clicking Advanced startup choices.
Select “Restart now” from the menu. As soon as your computer restarts, the “Advanced Startup settings menu” will appear. The “Troubleshoot” button should be clicked first, followed by the “Advanced options” button. Click “Startup settings” on the screen with advanced options.
Select “Restart” from the menu. The Startup Settings screen will appear when your computer restarts. To start in Safe Mode with Networking, press F5.
- Windows 10 Users
Select the Power icon by clicking the Windows logo. While holding down the “Shift” keyboard key, select “Restart” from the menu that has just appeared. Select “Advanced choices” after clicking “Troubleshoot” in the “Choose an option” window.
Select “Startup Settings” from the advanced options menu, then press the “Restart” button. Click the “F5” key on your keyboard to open the next window. Your operating system will restart in safe mode with networking.
- Run the Autoruns.exe file after extracting the downloaded files.
- Uncheck “Hide Empty Locations” and “Hide Windows Entries” under “Options” in the Autoruns application. Click the “Refresh” icon when you’re finished.
- Locate the malicious file that you wish to delete by looking through the list the Autoruns application provides.
You must note both its name and the whole path. Be aware that some malware uses legitimate Windows process names to conceal its true identity. It is crucial at this point to refrain from deleting system files. When you’ve found the suspicious software, you want to get rid of, right-click on its name and select “Delete.”
You should search for the malware name on your computer after deleting the malware using the Autoruns application (this makes sure that the malware won’t run automatically on the next system restart). Before continuing, make sure hidden files and folders are enabled. Make sure to delete the spyware once you discover its filename.
After this process, your computer should restart normally; any malware on your computer will be eliminated. Be aware that manual malware eradication calls for highly developed computer abilities. Leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware tools if you lack these skills.
How To Avoid Crypto Mining Malware
If you want to avoid crypto mining malware, there are certain things you need to do. Below are some of the guides on how to avoid crypto mining malware.
- Make sure you use ad blockers in your browser.
- Install and keep up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection programs.
- Stop visiting web pages known to host malware software.
- Put cloud security measures in place to guard server sites.
These are some of the tips to avoid crypto mining malware.
Crypto Mining FAQs
Does internet speed affect crypto mining?
Actually, no. Anyone interested in mining cryptocurrency is not discouraged by a slow internet connection. For thirty-four cryptocurrency mining rigs, 2-3 Mbps of internet connectivity is sufficient.
Here are some frequently asked questions about crypto mining:
Is Crypto Mining Taxable?
Both your cryptocurrency ownership and any cryptocurrency income must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service.
Gains from mining cryptocurrencies or purchasing them are both regarded as taxable income, albeit the specifics of how they are taxed differently depending on how you acquired them.
How Is Crypto Mining Taxed?
Regarding the tax on cryptocurrency mining in the USA, based on the coin’s fair market value in USD on the day you acquired it, you will pay income tax.
This will be subjected to taxation at the same rate as your state and federal income taxes. When you later sell, use, or trade coins you’ve mined, you’ll also have to pay capital gains tax.
How To Report Crypto Mining Taxes
As part of your yearly tax return, you must disclose to the IRS your cryptocurrency mining income. If you are self-employed or operate a mining business, you must report your mining revenue on Form Schedule C (1040) rather than Form Schedule 1 (1040).
This article gave appropriate answers to some of the questions asked about crypto mining and also entails detailed guidance on how to detect crypto mining malware.
However, detecting a problem is not enough; it also needs to be eliminated; thus, this article includes guides to eliminating crypto mining malware.