Chinese security researchers from Qihoo 360 Netlab have discovered a savvy botnet that destroys illicit crypto mining malware rather than hacking victims’ PCs for its benefit.

The Benevolent ‘Cryptojacker’

The botnet, called Fbot, is based on the Satori Mirai program, which is typically used for DDoS attacks, according to Bleeping Computer, who first reported the news earlier this week.

According to the research, the Fbot scans the internet for devices infected with cryptojacking malware–specifically SMI, RIG and XIG processes–and replaces it in victims’ computers alongside disabling DDoS attack software.

By searching for devices with open ports, the strain targets the “com.ufo.miner” code form the Android-based Monero miner ADB.Miner, should any malware be found. Researchers say the program can scan, install and deploy itself over the malware and “self-destruct” once it fulfills its function.

Interestingly, the Fbot strain is linked to a decentralized domain service, called EmerDNS, instead of the usual domain name system (DNS) service, which makes it substantially harder for hackers to target the strain and shut down its servers.

Per the research:

“The choice of Fbot using EmerDNS other than traditional DNS is pretty interesting, it raised the bar for a security researcher to find and track the botnet (security systems will fail if they only look for traditional DNS names).”

However, the researchers noted that it is not immediately clear if Fbot was conceived with good intent or serves as a vehicle to replace existing crypto miners and deploy its own.

The World Wakes Up to Mining Threats

As one of the fastest-growing cyber threats of 2018, illicit crypto mining has gained precedence over traditional hacking methods due to its ease-of-execution and high reward. Security teams across the globe have found miners prowling millions of computers including individual PCs, enterprise networks and government sites.

Related: Research: Illicit Crypto Mining Becomes Rising Threat as Criminals Turn to Sophisticated Methods

In August, security firm Trend Micro published a report regarding the extent of cryptojacking attacks in recent years and found a 956 percent increase from the first half of 2017 to the first half of 2018.

Enterprises and internet businesses are deploying various updates to protect themselves against the threat. Popular antivirus providers are also installing patches across all software versions and the Firefox browser revealed it would block all mining scripts found on its users’ computers automatically.

Additionally, the Opera browser launched comparable measures for mobile devices in early 2018, but other browsers like Chrome have yet to follow suit.

Cover Photo by Frederic Köberl on Unsplash

Disclaimer: Our writers’ opinions are solely their own and do not reflect the opinion of CryptoSlate. None of the information you read on CryptoSlate should be taken as investment advice, nor does CryptoSlate endorse any project that may be mentioned or linked to in this article. Buying and trading cryptocurrencies should be considered a high-risk activity. Please do your own due diligence before taking any action related to content within this article. Finally, CryptoSlate takes no responsibility should you lose money trading cryptocurrencies.

Did you like this article? Join us.

Get blockchain news and crypto insights.

Join Us on Telegram

Shaurya MalwaShaurya Malwa Author

Shaurya Malwa

Post-mining his first bitcoins in 2012, there was no looking back for Shaurya Malwa. After graduating in business from the University of Wolverhampton, Shaurya ventured straight into the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain. Using a hard-hitting approach to article writing and crypto-trading, he finds his true self in the world of decentralized ideologies. When not writing, Shaurya builds his culinary skills and trades the big three cryptocurrencies.

View author profile



Source link