China’s MIIT Says Crypto Mining Botnet Is a Critical Threat to Internet Security
Crypto mining is a costly investment, but “smart” cybercriminals could find money-making solutions with their technical skills.
A recent report released by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) says “illegal” crypto mining has posed serious threats to the country’s internet security, becoming a top issue needed addressing among the three urgent internet security problems in the country.
Internet security firms have detected crypto mining malwares secretly stealing computing power to mine increasingly valuable cryptocurrencies mainly targeting at Monero (XMR) and Electroneum (ETN). Monero mining botnet got crazily spread and earned hackers millions in months, according to a previous report from 360 Security.
As previously reported by 8btc, more than 30,000 websites across the world have been infected with malicious mining scripts as of July 9, and over 500 million computers’ central processing unit (CPU) were hijacked to run mining software without users’ consent. This May, cryptojacking malware was even detected secretly mining Monero on many government and university websites.
Crypto mining botnet prefers cryptocurrencies like XMR and ZEC for their anonymity feature and easy access to mining which can be done with any CPU or GPU without heavily specialized ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits). That explains why the rampant XMR mining malware is unabated over these years.
As a ministry responsible for regulation and development of the IT industry in China, MIIT has shown its ambition to crackdown crypto mining malware after the release of the report on internet security threat analysis of Q2 2018.
Like the recent ban on public venues from holding crypto-related events, it is another effort from the country’s regulators to help cleanse the market and ward off illegal activities related to cryptocurrency and the technology blockchain behind it.
Though being preemptive on cryptos, the country shows quite amicable attitude towards its underlying technology blockchain. This May, President Xi Jinping recognized it as one of the five pillars of a “new generation of information technology”; government-backed blockchain funds were launched in some cities. And the country is currently formulating national standards for blockchain which is expected to come out in 2019.
Apart from the policy supports, blockchain technology developed by some featured firms are starting to be moved into real-world application. Yesterday, the Chinese website wtoip.com, a platform offering IP application services, issued China’s first blockchain-based copyright registration certificate. It said the whole process can be done within 3 minutes thanks to blockchain adoption.