Feeds

Twitter-control botnet mines Bitcoins

Digital cash from chaos

Security for virtualized datacentres

Cybercrooks have begun using botnets of compromised machines to mine units of the Bitcoin virtual currency.

New units of the electronic currency, which can be exchanged for real cash, can be created by completing complex mathematical tasks. Ideas in distributed computing pioneered by the SETI project and other such schemes have been applied by cybercrooks to task networks of compromised machines with the job of farming Bitcoins.

A few botnet operators have tried this already, but now a new zombie network has surfaced that controls the mining drones using Twitter, as Finnish security firm F-Secure explains. "The bots are created with a generator," writes Mikko H Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure. "Generator sets a specific Twitter account to be the one which can be used to control the mining botnet."

Command handed out to malware-infected drones on this zombie networks follow a simple syntax, as explained in a blog post by F-Secure here.

The security firm detects the malware behind the attack as Trojan-Generic-KD.

The appearance of a Bitcoin mining botnet controlled via Twitter shows both the evolution of the cybercrime economy and the techniques at play among the bad guys.

Miscreants previously developed Infostealer-Coinbit, a Trojan specially designed to pilfer currency units from the Bitcoin wallets on user's hard drives. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.