Not too long ago, Monero (XMR) revealed a plan to fight against crypto-jacking malware and ransomware by educating users. On its community page, Monero announced that it would launch a website where users would be educated on the said issue.
Victims’ Frustration and Confusion Soon to end
Two things have always stood the Monero coin out among others. These are the privacy provided by it and the ease of its mining. Unfortunately, these two good features have been the reasons many bad actors have been daily attracted to the coin too.
While fielding questions from CCN, Justin Ehrenhofer who is Malware Response Workgroup’s director expounded the reasons XMR keeps attracting hackers. He said:
Attackers like Monero for two reasons: 1) it is private, so they do not need to worry about companies and law enforcement tracking what they do with the Monero after they mine it, and 2) Monero uses a Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm that is CPU and GPU-friendly; thus, the infected machines are competitive. These two components are increasingly distinguishing factors for why attackers choose to mine Monero over other cryptocurrencies.
It must be noted that Monero is not the only crypto that can be used in malware; even Bitcoin and other leading digital currencies can and have been used the same way before. However, among other coins, the unique privacy of Monero stands it out.
When Ehrenhofer was quizzed on why the working group was created, he said the effort came up as a way to help victims of ransomware and malware who are evidently confused and frustrated. The director said that many malware associated with Monero have been discovered in recent days and as such, they thought it wise to educate users about what to do.
Among other things, this newly-launched website would keep users informed on how to remove and prevent malware. So, for the website visitors, their frustration and confusion will soon disappear as they make use of guidelines made available on the website.
Apart from this website’s capacity to detect if an XMR-based malware has invaded your computer, it also has the capacity to fix all the three common types of attacks used. These three types are ransomware, browser-based mining scripts, and system/PC based malware.
How to Clean Crypto-Jacking Scripts
The essence of scripts in Monero mining is to allow visitors to the website to be able to fund it. A report once stated that slate.com at a time added crypto mining as an alternative to advertisements for visitors. Should a reader subscribe to this, their browsers would go ahead to mine XMR using the resources of their computer as they browse.
Notwithstanding, it is possible for hackers to insert mining scripts to certain vulnerable websites even without visitors or the webmaster knowing. This is what is known as “crypto jacking.”
McAfee lab’s report on the crypto-jacking increase to be 86% in the second quarter of this year. Going forward, the total illegal crypto-jacking effort is now at 559% owing to disclosures in the hacking tools of the NSA. These tools are what hackers use to infect systems with malware.
Now that the NSA (including Microsoft) have taken responsibilities for the leak, it would be expected that sites such as Monero’s would be rewarded with their proactive measure in combating the crime.