Feeds

Illicit Bitcoin miners steal resources from infected Macs

Passwords, browsing history also harvested

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Security researchers have identified malware that hijacks the resources of infected Macs to illegally mint the digital currency known as Bitcoin.

The DevilRobber.A trojan has been circulating on The Pirate Bay and other BitTorrent trackers, where it's bundled with the Mac OS X image-editing application Graphic Converter, researchers from Sophos blogged on Monday. Like previous malware attacking Windows PCs, it commandeers a Mac's graphics card and CPU to perform the mathematical calculations necessary to generate new digital currency, a process known as Bitcoin mining.

As researchers from rival antivirus provider Intego point out in their own blog post, Bitcoin mining is just one of the many activities performed by the recently discovered trojan.

“This malware is complex, and performs many operations,” they wrote. “It is a combination of several types of malware: it is a Trojan horse, since it is hidden inside other applications; it is a backdoor, as it opens ports and can accept commands from command and control servers; it is a stealer, as it steals data and Bitcoin virtual money; and it is a spyware, as it sends personal data to remote servers.”

In addition to hijacking a Mac's GPU and CPU for Bitcoin mining, DevilRobber.A also searches an infected machine for any Bitcoin wallets. If found, the malware will purloin the digital currency. It also steals passwords, browsing history from Safari browsers, and data from Vidalia, a Firefox plugin used to communicate over the TOR anonymity service.

So far, DevilRobber.A has been installed on only a small number of machines. But it's part of a growing wave of increasingly sophisticated malware targeting Mac users. Over the past month, at least two other OS X trojans have also been discovered, including Tsunami, which is derived from an earlier Linux-infecting backdoor called Kaiten, and Flashback, which was recently updated to make it harder for researchers to do reconnaissance on it. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.