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Is your computer being used to mine someone else's bitcoins?

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posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 01:59 PM
According to Malwarebytes, its possible.

Potentially Unwanted Programs or PUPs as we like to call them, are things like Toolbars, Search Agents, etc. Unnecessary junk for your desktop that usually involves monitoring your surfing/shopping habits and slowing down your system with their sub-par software that ends up hurting you much more than helping.

A recent and unfortunate discovery by some of our users revealed that some of these programs do more than just cover your desktop in ads, they also steal your systems resources for mining purposes.

This type of system hijacking is just another way for advertising based software to exploit a user into getting even more cash.

Well isn't that special. Someone else might be using your computer and electricity to mine their bitcoins.

I'm kind of surprised that the media hasnt jumped all over this. They rarely skip an opportunity to bash bitcoin. They probably will now. Hello corporate media (among others), we know you're monitoring ATS.

It would be one thing if these were a few isolated incidents but NJ just levied a $1,000,000 fine against E-Sports Entertainment, LLC, for infecting or using 14,000 different computers as miners:

According to the complaint, the malicious code enabled E-Sports to monitor users’ computers even when they were not signed onto or using E-Sports services. E-Sports also created a botnet – a network of computers running malicious software -- using its customers’ computers. The botnet used the computing resources of users’ computers to mine for bitcoins, a virtual form of currency.

It is estimated that, during a single two-week period, E-Sports took control of approximately 14,000 computers in New Jersey and across the nation, and generated approximately $3,500 by mining for bitcoins.

$3500 in two weeks? Not bad...

But not quite worth it when you factor in the $1 million dollar fine...

posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:12 PM
You mean I might have a thousand bitcoins on my computer?
What would I do with the bitcoins anyway? The computer isn't probably worth two bitcoins.

posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:27 PM
nope rick your computer isnt worth two bite coins lol
as bitcoins are at 1000$ each right now

posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:31 PM
Was reading about this a couple days ago and was wondering if it could be combated by simply keeping tabs on your OS's task manager and your CPU usage if you have suspicions? Or even by manually restricting ads unwanted tool bars.

I haven't attempted to mine bitcoins as I'm too lazy to DL the entire blockchain history to do it (that and I would be using my GPU to mine and I don't want to do that lol) - but out of my ignorance I would think that it would have some noticeable effect on performance if someone was leaching your system power to mine coins.

The fact that you CAN mine coins is the one reason why I'm staying far away from them or anything like them. It's the same mess all over again IMO.

posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 03:19 PM
Yes, my computer was part of a mining botnet. I found in/outgoing network messages to emanating from "PowerMon.exe" only a few weeks ago, deleted the registry entry and haven't had any problems since. None of the scans I ran found anything but I knew something was up when "ping.exe" was running on startup with no associated startup entry and my processor was in constant use while I was just watching the task manager.

Glad to see the AV companies are finally catching on to this.

posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 03:26 PM
reply to post by SocialCUT

Very useful information - thank you. I think it's normal for a CPU to run a little bit - mines jumps from 0 to 10 percent on average but I do run some BG programs like virus protection, but as you seem to imply its was a VERY noticeable performance slouch.
edit on 6-12-2013 by Floydshayvious because: Boop

posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 03:45 PM
reply to post by gladtobehere

I have had this virus on my personal laptop off and on for months now. Makes all my programs/games/etc run slower and I find it almost immediately and remove it. I worked for years in I.T. so I pay attention when my system isn't running how it's supposed to. On my system, I could run the Task Manager, look at running processes and typically the virus was inside a running file called "ielowutil.exe" or "iehighutil.exe" (apparently trying to mask itself as a necessary internet explorer process).

To get rid of the file, first open Task Manager (you can right-click the taskbar at the bottom of your screen and select "Run Task Manager"). Then go to processes, look for anything that says anything similar to the aforementioned "iehighutil" or "ielowutil" and right click it. You'll notice that the numbers next to the process will say that it is constantly using some small amount of your CPU%. Once you right click it, select "Open containing folder". This will open windows explorer to that folder. Switch back to Task Manager, right click the file again, and select "End all processes" (it doesn't say exactly that, but that's close). Switch again to the windows explorer folder, and delete all the files in that folder. Then run a full virus scan and reboot your computer.

posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 04:51 PM
It's really nothing new. I hardly ever get a virus/trojan...I run Kaspersky Anitivirus but you also NEED to run Malwarebytes occasionally. If I get a trojan/virus it's usually a bitcoin miner.

Relatively "easy" to spot since it uses my graphics card and it often crashes the drivers.

Malwarebytes is pretty good for finding those.

posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 02:43 PM
reply to post by NoRulesAllowed

Went downstairs this morning, come back up and found a virus... went into my program folder and found lots of bitcoin related files...



are the files that got my AV worried, I don't know if they're connected.
Take a look in your windows folder just to check. -sigh- I hate rebooting...

(Apparently Yahoo ads have infected around 2 million people this new year! Mine were from before then though...)
edit on 10/1/14 by AKindChap because: (no reason given)

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