An increasing number of malware samples in the wild are using host systems to secretly mine bitcoins. In this post, I’ll look at an affiliate program that pays people for the mass installation of programs that turns host machines into bitcoin mining bots.
When you’re lurking in the computer crime underground, it pays to watch your back and to keep your BS meter set to ‘maximum.’ But when you’ve gained access to an elite black market section of a closely guarded crime forum to which very few have access, it’s easy to let your guard down. That’s what I did earlier this year, and it caused me to chase a false story. This blog post aims to set the record straight on that front, and to offer a cautionary (and possibly entertaining) tale to other would-be cybersleuths.
Make enough contacts in the Internet security community and you will probably learn that many of the folks involved in defending computers and networks against criminals got started in security by engaging in online illegal activity of one sort or another. These personal shifts are sometimes motivated by ethical and personal safety reasons, but just as often grey- and black hat hackers gravitate toward the defensive side simply because it is more intellectually challenging.