Compromised websites used to mine bitcoins

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Dec 13, 2011

In-the-browser botnet turns victims' CPU cycles into cash for the attackers.

Researchers have discovered a compromised website where a piece of JavaScript has been included that is used to mine bitcoins for the attacker.

Bitcoins are a digital currency whose popularity and value have increased significantly in recent years. Bitcoins can be used to make online payments and exchanged for real currency, while new bitcoins can be 'mined' using large amounts of CPU time.

Unsurprisingly, this has attracted the interest of botherders: via the botnets they control, they have access to a lot of CPU time, which can be turned into cash via bitcoin mining. Indeed, in recent months a number of malware samples have been discovered that are capable of using a compromised machine's CPU cycles to mine bitcoins.

In this particular case, however, the mining software is programmed in JavaScript and runs inside the browser of those visiting a compromised website. This in-the-browser botnet does not infect the victim's computer, but it does use their CPU time, which could significantly slow down the machine. The advantage for the attacker is that the mining code is browser- and platform-independent and is less likely to be blocked by security software.

More at the MailChannels blog here.

Posted on 13 December 2011 by Virus Bulletin

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
googleplus.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

What kind of people attend Virus Bulletin conferences?

If you are considering submitting a proposal for a talk to VB2018 and you're not familiar with the event, you may find it useful to know what kind of people attend the conference.

Olympic Games target of malware, again

An unattributed malware attack has disrupted some computer systems of the 2018 Winter Olympics. In 1994, a computer virus also targeted the Winter Olympics.

There are lessons to be learned from government websites serving cryptocurrency miners

Thousands of websites, including many sites of government organisations in the UK, the US and Sweden, were recently found to have been serving a cryptocurrency miner. More interesting than the incident itself, though, are the lessons that can be…

We need to continue the debate on the ethics and perils of publishing security research

An article by security researcher Collin Anderson reopens the debate on whether publishing threat analyses is always in the public interest.

WordPress users urged to manually update to fix bug that prevents automatic updating

Users of the popular WordPress content management system are urged to manually update their installation to version 4.9.4, as a bug in the previous version broke the ability to automatically install updates.