3.89 Million Computers Cryptojacked in China to Mine $2 Million-Worth of Cryptos

Police in northern Shandong province recently bust an immense cryptojacking campaign that used a mining Trojan known as ‘tlMiner’ to gain illegal access to 389 million computers and earned the criminals more than 15 million yuan(2.25 million USD) over the course of two years, according to a report by Workers’ Daily.

A high-tech enterprise in China’s Dalian City was behind the masterplan which allegedly developed the cryptojacking software. The company spread the mining Trojan via internet cafe network, a video game cheat software and pirated video software without the consent of the owner of the computer. The large number of virus infected computers were used to mine over 15 million yuan worth of cryptocurrencies, including Digibyte, Monero, Siacoin and Decred. Besides,The company has developed a network of nearly 3,500 agents to help propagate the illicit mining software.

Police statics showed that 1 million of the computers controlled by hackers which have the best possible hardware configuration were used for mining cryptos, and the remaining over 2 million computers were used for advertising the malicious plugins containing the virus .

The scheme was first detected by a security team of Chinese internet giant Tencent. Li Tiejun, an internet security expert from Tencent, told the Workers’ Daily that the computer may become infected without the user even realizing it. The mining Trojan was designed to operate only when the victim’s computer was using less than 50 percent of the computer’s processing power.

Li said that the mining trojan first appeared in 2013, but had not been brought to the public attention then.Due to a massive ransomware outbreak last year and the increasing popularity of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, the crypto-mining viruses become the most popular malware in 2018. But 95% of this malware can be prevented by installing anti-virus software or patches. Public is required to increase their security awareness about crypto-jacking threats.

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