At least 5 percent of all the Monero (XMR) digital currency currently in circulation has been mined using malware, and about 2 percent of the total hashrate in 24hrs period comes from devices infected with cryptocurrency-mining malware. According to a report released by security researchers from Palo Alto Networks.
The findings of in-depth research of the coin-mining malware showed that mining was done via crypto jacking, a practice of using other people computing device processing power to mine digital currencies without their consent.
According to the report, 84 percent of all malware samples detected by Palo Alto Network Researchers were aimed at mining for the Monero digital currency. Additionally, they identified 3,773 emails connected with mining pools, 2,995 mining pools URLs, 2,341 Monero wallets, 981 Bitcoin wallets, 131 Electroneum wallets, 44 Ethereum wallets, and 28 Litecoin wallets.
Distribution of cryptocurrencies targeted by malicious miners. Source: Palo Alto Networks
Josh Grunzweig of the Unit 42 threat research team, noted that Monero has an “astounding monopoly ” on the virtual currencies targeted by malware, with a total of 5 percent of all Monero now in circulation mined maliciously.
According to data from CoinMarketCap Monero has a total market cap of around $1.9 bln, trading for about $119 and down approximately 10 percent over a 24 hour period to press time.
According to researchers, Hackers group have mined a total of 798,613.33 XMR ($108 million) using malware on infected devices.
Researchers further stated that only 1,278 of the 2,341 Monero addresses they found —roughly 55 percent — had collected more than 0.01 XMR ($1.19) in their accounts. Additionally, of the percent Wallets that did contain funds, 244 earned 100 XMR ($13,500) or more, 99 wallets mined over 1,000 XMR ($135,000), and 16 wallets have obtained over 10,000 XMR ($1.35 million).
Researchers noted that during the past one year, infected computing devices were responsible for 19,503,823.54 hashes/second, which is approximately 2 percent of the entire hashing power of the Monero global network.
“The total hashrate of approximately 19MH/s would result in roughly $30,443 a day based on today’s current exchange rates and network difficulty,” Grunzweig said. “Similarly, the top three hashrate will mine approximately $2,737, $2,022 and $1,596 daily, respectively.”
On Tuesday, Japanese police announced that they launched a probe into a case of Monero crypto jacking with the use of the Coinhive mining software. A week earlier, GuardiCore security team unearthed a malicious traffic manipulation and cryptocurrency mining campaign which had infected over 40,000 machines across various industries, including finance, education, and government.