Bitcoin malware attacks high in India

  Bitcoin miners beware! India ranked at the top of the list of countries affected by a malware called ‘Trojan.Win64.Miner./Trojan.Win32.Miner’.

Published: 04th December 2018 02:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2018 12:22 PM   |  A+A-

A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration.| REUTERS

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Bitcoin miners beware! India ranked at the top of the list of countries affected by a malware called ‘Trojan.Win64.Miner./Trojan.Win32.Miner’. A study, conducted to document the shift of cybercriminals towards new crypto mining, found that 23.58 per cent of all ‘Trojan.Win32.Miner.ays/’ cryptocurrency attacks were in India.

Russia came to a close second with 18.45 per cent of the attacks and Kazakhstan, third, with 14.38 per cent. A few cases were also reported in the Great Britain, Germany and Netherlands.

Since USB drives are a major source of distribution for this particular mining malware, India, unsurprisingly, was also at the top when it came to their distribution. “The percentage of detections of the popular Bitcoin miner ‘Trojan.Win64.Miner.all’ on removable devices is growing annually at a rate of about 16 per cent,” the study explained. The study also found that legislation does not have an appreciable affect on the prevalence of mining attacks.

For instance, Kazakhstan, where cryptomining is neither prohibited or legalised, has seen 16.75 per cent of the total cryptomining attacks in 2018. On the other hand, Vietnam, where mining is prohibited, exhibited only a little decrease - 13%.  India, where a ban on cryptomining is under consideration and legislation is in progress, saw 7.20 per cent of the total attacks this year.    

“At the other end of the scale, US users were the least affected by such attacks (1.33% of the total number), followed by users in Switzerland (1.56%) and Britain (1.66%),” the study said.  Overall, the research observed that there has been an initial increase in the rate of mining-related attacks, until there was a drop in a cryptocurrency’s value in February. Following that, general interest in cryptocurrency “waned”, study said. “Yet the graph clearly shows that while the number of cryptominer attacks decreased, the threat continues to exist,” it added.

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