The bitcoin bubble looks to have burst after a massive high, but the craze for the virtual currency is hurtling forward unhindered. Naturally, those with the know-how have tried all ways to get their hands on bitcoins and we have already heard reports of a Skype-based malware mining for bitcoins in Europe.
Now another such malware has emerged from a Russian porn site. Named Fareit, the malware uses the victims' computers to mine bitcoins, according to cyber-security firm ThreatTrack Security. The malware has been reportedly circulating for at least six months and infects Windows computers before mining for the virtual currency
The Fareit malware was planted on a Russian porn site. Fareit is delivered to a computer by the Blackhole exploit kit, which attacks the computer and looks for vulnerabilities upon visiting the porn site. The malware is also capable of stealing information from a computer and can co-opt the affected PC for use in distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS).
It must be noted that Fareit is in the general family of malware and in this case, it has been modified to install bitcoin-mining software called CG Miner. ThreatTrack’s report on the matter said a look inside the software package installed shows a script comment written in Cyrillic, pointing to its Russian origins.
Fareit uses the victim's computer to compute parts of the blockchain, the crucial part of mining bitcoins, and then sends that data to the hackers. “You're then part of their particular ring,” a ThreatTrack employee was quoted as saying on PCWorld.
This particular variant of Fareit was submitted to the VirusTotal definitions database at the beginning of the year, but other malware also designed to mine bitcoins have been found to have been created earlier this month. The report further adds that there is no way to notice the malware running on their computer, unless you see bitcoins missing from your wallet.
Earlier this month, another bitcoin-mining malware was discovered and used VOIP service Skype to spread. The malware is capable of turning the infected machine into a slave for bitcoin mining purposes. It also reportedly put a heavy load on the CPU even when doing simple tasks, which could be explained by the fact that it was being used in a chain of computers for the purpose of mining.
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