Feeds

Bitcoin's so over. We're mining Primeco... Oh SNAP, my box is a ZOMBIE!

Malware writers target would-be fans of new cryptocurrency

High performance access to file storage

Security experts have warned crypto-currency fans of malware hidden in certain miners for Bitcoin-alike cryptocurrency Primecoin.

The malicious Primecoin miners were found on various Chinese sites and torrents by Panda Security researcher Mehrdad Yazdizadeh.

"Primecoin miners are written in Python and other scripting languages and are using a variety of methods to infect the users' systems i.e. brute-forcing, privilege escalation, modify SQL tables," he told The Hacker News.

“On execution, the malware will inject the SQL server to cmd.exe, svchost.exe, explorer.exe and similar processes to hide itself as rootkits."

The malware apparently launches a brute force attack on user accounts for privilege escalation and will also try to download more malicious files from other servers.

It replicates through the file systems of the infected machine and disables any antivirus programs it finds, according to the report.

Once the attacker has control of an infected machine, it can be used remotely as part of a botnet to launch other attacks. As a result, the victim may notice unusually high CPU usage (that is, higher than the already high usage from the Primecoin mining).

The malware is undetected by most major security vendors, although Panda Security will apparently spot and block the threat.

Malware targeting crypto-currencies is nothing new, of course, but this latest discovery proves cyber-criminals are well aware there’s a thriving market to be exploited beyond Bitcoin.

Primecoin is an open source, P2P cryptocurrency which has only been around since July 2013.

It shares much of the same source code as Bitcoin but instead of using Hashcash as its proof-of-work system it finds sequences of prime numbers known as “Cunningham chains”. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.