Monero tired of cryptojackers; launches new anti-malware initiative

Monero has launched a new educational website that hopes to prevent incidents of crypto-jacking and malware from growing further.

Examples of cryptocurrency mining malware have exploded over the past year or so, with it revealed in May that the ‘Xbooster’ malware had accrued its owner more than $100,000 worth of Monero – a crypto that is harder to track.

Justin Ehrenhofer, director of the malware response workgroup, told CCN: “Attackers like Monero for two reasons: 1) it is private, so they do not need to worry about companies and law enforcement tracing what they do with the Monero after they mine it, and 2) Monero uses a Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm that is CPU and GPU-friendly; thus, the infected machines are competitive.

“These two components are increasingly distinguishing factors for why attackers choose to mine Monero over other cryptocurrencies.”

Just last week, the WSJ reported that more than $100 million had been laundered through crypto exchanges, with hackers using multi-coin exchange Shapeshift to convert Bitcoin into Monero and thus making it untraceable.

The new initiative has been set up to help victims of these attacks, as well as providing information that could be useful for preventing further incidents. Ehrenhofer also admits that “the increased prevalence of Monero-related malware prompted the formation of the workgroup.”

“Monero itself and the community aren’t attacked computers, but the computers are attacked with some vulnerability and the attacker decides to run mining software on the compromised machines,” he added.