HomeCryptocurrencyCPU Mining is Making a Comeback (But Only on Botnets)

CPU Mining is Making a Comeback (But Only on Botnets)


CPU mining malware increased sixfold during the first eight months of 2017, according to a new report from IBM X-Force.

As CCN has reported, the number of computers infected with cryptocurrency mining malware has increased every year and is on pace to reach 2 million in 2017 alone. However, the number of computers infected with CPU mining malware has surged sixfold this year–far beyond the rate of overall increase in infections.

For the average user, CPU mining has been dead for what seems like ages–replaced by more powerful GPU and ASIC miners. However, the IBM X-Forcethreat intelligence service has identified a remarkable increase in computers infected with CPU mining malware during 2017.

The report theorizes that cyber attackers turn to this flavor of mining malware because, even though CPU mining is not worthwhile on an individual level, hackers often control botnets containing thousands of infected computers. Since they do not have to foot the cost of electricity, what little profit each individual computer makes quickly adds up. The X-Force team found that a standard Intel i5-6500 4 core processor running an Ubuntu server could net about $2.35 per month. Hackers most commonly used the botnets to mine anonymous CryptoNote currencies such as Monero and Bytecoin.

The attacks were often deployed using steganography, the practice of hiding data within image files. After hiding the malware inside a fake image file, the hackers placed them on compromised web servers.cpu mining

Chart from IBM

According to the report, the manufacturing and financial services sectors tied at 29% for the highest volume of CPU mining attacks. They stated that many of the attacks exploited inexcusable lapses in security, such as failing to validate input fields on web applications.

Notably, the researchers found that Internet of Things (IoT) devices are not attractive to hackers, despite the fact that they are often vulnerable to exploits. Due to their low computing power, even a 1 million-device botnet would likely not produce enough profit to justify the effort to create and maintain it.


Cyprus registers Binance as a cryptocurrency service provider.

Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, will be able to provide services for virtual currencies in Cyprus as a result of the platform's recent registration with the...

More than 24,000 ATMs in Brazil will offer USDT through Tether and Smartpay.

Usdt, the largest dollar-pegged stablecoin on the market, was created by Tether, a company. Tether recently announced that more than 24,000 ATMs in Brazil will...

To solve the blockchain modularity issue, Celestia raises $55 million.

The project Celestia, which seeks to address the alleged centralization issue in the current monolithic blockchains, has announced the completion of its most recent funding...

Hong Kong considers removing the “Professional Investor-Only Requirement” and allowing retail investors to trade cryptocurrency.

Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong's director of licensing and head of the fintech division both confirmed that the regulator is taking into...

Follow us


Most Popular