Cryptocurrency and its link to malware
Cryptocurrency ( for example Bitcoin) is created with a finite supply. To create the tokens in circulation, programs solve complex calculations for artificially created coins. As the supply dwindles, the calculations become harder and the computer processing time to generate new currency increases. What would help these aspiring bankers is access to greater processing power.
Enter stage left “Digmine”, a malware that hijacks user’s Facebook accounts and tricks them into installing a modified Google Chrome extension. Your computer (and electricity) is then secretly used to generate massive profits for it’s creators.
This isn’t an isolated case, and one suspects that in the Bitcoin feeding frenzy we’re seeing, there’s only going to be more and more incentive. Regularly updating your antivirus and asking your staff to be vigilant are a bare minimum. Your business IT support should be ensuring that you are up to date with your protection at all times. Also, in reality, business networks increasingly need to be stricter with rules about what staff can do, what sites they can access and what permissions are granted on the domain.
As malware goes, just stealing your spare computer capacity and electricity may not be as headline grabbing as other, more damaging hacks, but there is a proof of concept that should be a warning to you: if they can infiltrate your network so easily for this purpose, there is no reason that more dangerous malware won’t take the same route.