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

Boost IT visibility and business value

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”. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?