Bitcoin Miners: The New Gold Diggers
Bitcoin mining is not a new concept. In fact, it’s been around for years, and people have used this method to earn bitcoins in order to trade them or use the coins as currency.
The introduction of this popular cryptocurrency gave rise to an entire industry, and there have always been people mining it. However, it should be said that bitcoin has become much more relevant in recent years as big companies tend to place their resources into Bitcoin instead of other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Ripple at times.
You probably know that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies work on blockchains, but do you know how it all works?
Blockchains work by creating complex mathematical puzzles that must be solved. Bitcoin miners are rewarded with Bitcoin for completing “blocks” of verified transactions.
These blocks help to maintain the integrity and security of the blockchain, which is an unchangeable digital ledger that records all future transactions as well. Thus, the owners of computers who come up with a solution first are rewarded.
The puzzles get more and more difficult with time, meaning that you need to buy a powerful computer just for solving them. In addition, bitcoin mining is a competitive process that requires powerful computers.
So while it used to be possible with an ordinary PC, now you need specialized equipment called miners.
You might not realize, but crypto-mining malware and viruses exist. However, the vast majority of people don’t know that there’s a topic as exciting or important as this to learn about.
So we’ve created an article on the basics which you will want to read!
What is a Bitcoin Miner Virus?
Crypto-mining malware is an amalgamation of different viruses that are used to mine for various cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin miner takes a generic name, which doesn’t mean it can only be used for Bitcoin mining as we know Ethereum and other cryptos have been targeted before too.
Regardless of the threat level or how you choose to refer to this malicious program by its name, they always perform pretty much the same function: crypto-mining!
The bitcoin miner is a dreaded name for many crypto-mining viruses. You may think that the name implies we’re only talking about Bitcoin, but this isn’t true!
These types of malware are now targeting cryptos like Ethereum and others as well. So it doesn’t really matter what you call it; its action remains pretty much the same – which should be enough to keep anyone away from these malicious miners at all costs!
Mining for Bitcoin used to be possible on a regular PC, but it’s much more difficult now because the puzzles are too complex.
If you don’t have access to advanced mining equipment, you can still mine with multiple computers by creating your own powerful mining rig.
The people who write viruses that hijack other people’s computers and force them into mining for their benefit are particularly unethical — they’re taking advantage of those less fortunate than themselves!
These Bitcoin viruses aren’t just out there mining. Your computer could be mining Ripple, Monero, or any other altcoin without your knowledge and generating profit for the person who made it; so a more appropriate term would be cryptocurrency mining malware”.
This moniker has become popular because Bitcoin is by far the most targeted token- which makes sense since its value skyrocketed in 2017 and continues to grow exponentially.
Stop the spread of Bitcoin-mining malware today!
Crypto mining malware spreads like wildfire, spreading through unofficial software repositories, peer-to-peer file-sharing services, and unknown senders via email.
The bitcoin miner virus can be disguised as a normal document that you open with the intent to read it. Always keep your anti-virus up-to-date and refrain from opening documents or links sent by an unknown party.
How to spot and avoid crypto-mining malware
For those who are unaware, when you mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), or Ethereum Classic (ETC), malware can take over your processor in order to do this work for them via what is called cryptojacking.
Imagine your computer has a virus that’s slowing down its performance. You can’t tell because it really just feels like the normal, slow response time of clicking on something and waiting for it to pop up.
That’s what cryptojacking is — an attacker installs code onto one of your devices which slows you down without telling anyone but them how much faster they are than you now!
Victims may not know they have been attacked because there is little to no indication that anything has happened while the miner was running, which makes it difficult to detect these attacks.
It doesn’t even show up in system settings or anything, so unless someone tells you about this sneaky attack, there might be no way to know until everything suddenly starts crashing around us at once when we’re done with our workday.
Cryptojacking has been on the rise for a while now, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. The effects of cryptojacking can be felt throughout your company if you don’t take precautions to ensure that all employees are safe from these malicious hackers looking just for their next opportunity.
For example, many people who have had an infected machine unknowingly fall victim to this crime because they rely solely on standard anti-virus tools or scanning software – but one of its key characteristics is that many scripts used in attacks happen to be legitimate crypto-mining scripts which will go undetected by signature-based security tools as well.
Mining cryptocurrency is designed to be a CPU-intensive task, and there are many telltale warning signs of infection. If your systems begin overheating when they shouldn’t or you start noticing an increase in employee complaints about poor performance, it could mean that one of the computers on which mining takes place has been infected with malware.
You should investigate any sudden decreases in computer activity immediately so as not to lose valuable data or give malicious actors time for further damage!
Look out for signs that indicate your system may have become compromised by malicious code, such as increased heat from devices displaying higher than average processing usage; this might signal intense crypto mining operations taking place at all hours day and night without proper cooling measures being taken into account beforehand.
Mining cryptocurrencies is a power-intensive process that puts strains on your CPU, RAM, and motherboard. The strain that mining places on these key parts of the computer causes it to run slower than usual, heat up significantly, and suffer from crashes or system errors due to overheating.
How do I know if my computer has been infected by a Bitcoin Miner Virus?
Do you have a slow computer or one that is shutting down due to overheating? If so, it might be infected with a virus. One type of infection which can cause your system performance to suffer and make the device run hotter than usual is bitcoin mining malware.
Thankfully there are ways for both Windows users and Linux-based operating systems alike to find out if this has occurred on their computers; thankfully, Apple devices also allow us insight into CPU usage!
To check for bitcoin mining viruses in Windows: press CTRL+ALT+DELETE> select Task Manager > look at processes tab.
On Linux systems, you can use your distro’s system monitor to view your CPU usage.
In addition, macOS users can view CPU activity in the Activity Monitor window.
Imagine you’re a cyber-sleuth, detective on the hunt for your company’s computer virus. You have just made it to the IT department and asked them about what resources are being used in order to find out if any of those processes belong to viruses or malware.
After reviewing their responses and looking at graphs showing CPU usage over time, process names can be identified as suspicious programs using too much power!
Searching through each process name will help identify which one is potentially dangerous before taking action against it by deleting this program. If there’s something strange on this list that you don’t recognize, then it could be an infection!
The resources graph would show high CPU and network use at all times, which can indicate a virus as well.
Bitcoin malware developers are continuously looking for new ways to infect your computer with viruses. Some Bitcoin miners target the CPU, but others use graphics cards (GPU) which will not affect performance as much while at work or playing a game.
You may experience lags, slowdowns, or frames dropping when using graphic intensive programs like games and CAD software because there is more strain on that particular component due to mining activity taking place simultaneously on it.
You can use task managers on Windows 10 as they show data on the usage of a PC’s GPU. Windows 10’s Task Manager has been improved to include more detailed information about your GPU usage.
The new features can be accessed by clicking the Details tab and will show you what apps are using the most of their processing power as well as how much each application uses overall in comparison to other programs on your computer, all so that you know which ones need a little extra care when it comes to performance.
These features were added as part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, also known as version 1709. Unfortunately, if you’re running an older operating system such as Windows 7 or 8 on your computer, these monitoring options won’t be available to you!
How to View the GPU Usage of your Applications
Hiding in plain sight, you can view the GPU usage of your applications by clicking the Task Manager. To access the info it contains, right-click any empty space on your taskbar or press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to bring up a new Task Manager window with information about every currently running process.
Sometimes you need to know more than what is shown in the simple view of Task Manager. For example, if you want a full look at how your apps are using resources, click on “More details” and enable some columns with GPU information like GPU usage or which GPU engine an app uses for graphics processing.
If the Task Manager window is showing the regular, simple view, click the “More details” option at the bottom.
Right-click any column header in Task Manager’s full view, then select the “GPU” option from the “Processes” menu.
This adds a GPU column that displays the percentage of GPU resources used by each application.
You may also enable the “GPU Engine” option to view which GPU engine is being used by a particular application.
The number in the GPU column represents the application’s highest GPU usage across all engines. So, if an application used 50% of a GPU’s 3D engine and 2% of a GPU’s video decode engine, the GPU column for that application would simply show the number 50%.
Each application’s GPU Engine is shown in the column. This displays both the physical GPU and the engine that an application is utilizing, such as whether the 3D engine or the video decode engine is being used.
Checking the Performance tab will help you figure out which GPU belongs to a specific number.
How to Monitor your Overall GPU Resource Usage
To monitor overall GPU resource utilization data, choose the “Performance” tab and scroll down to the “GPU” option in the sidebar.
If your system is equipped with several GPUs, you’ll see that various GPU options appear here.
If you have many GPUs connected using a feature such as NVIDIA SLI or AMD Crossfire, each one will have a “Link #” in its name.
Here, Windows displays the GPU’s current use in real-time.
How to get rid of the Bitcoin miner virus?
Most anti-malware and anti-virus software are capable of detecting and removing these crypto mining viruses. So even if they are using the GPU, anti-malware software is capable of detecting them.
Crypto mining malware removal can also be done manually. However, this is a time-consuming process, and for most people, it will require considerable technical skill because you need to find the executable file and figure out how to delete all of its registry keys. In addition, there is some risk that your computer could become bricked if any mistakes happen along the way.
If you want to avoid malicious software and viruses, it’s time for serious action. ESET, Kaspersky, Bitdefender, and Malwarebytes have been proven effective in cleaning crypto-mining malware from devices.
Don’t fall victim to crypto miners
Crypto-mining malware is a threat that many people aren’t aware of. It spreads like wildfire and can be disguised as an innocent document or link sent by someone you know.
The best way to protect yourself from crypto mining viruses, in the unlikely event that they ever target your computer, is to always keep your anti-virus up-to-date and refrain from opening any documents or links sent by unknown parties.