Reports: Over 5% of Monero Currently in Circulation was Mined Through Malware
Researchers at Palo Alto Networks have analyzed about 630,000 cryptocurrency mining malware samples captured by the company’s systems in recent years and have extracted the portfolio identifications and mining pools used by the attackers.
The report implied that the mining was done through cryptojacking. About five percent of all Monero (XMR) in circulation was mined through a malware in its algorithm.
Cryptojacking is negligence. It involves the use of processing of many computers without the permission of the owners of those systems.
Below is a chart that lists the instances tracked in the report of cryptocurrencies that are targeted by malicious miners.
Considering an exchange rate of $180 for 1 XMR, the attackers managed to mine the equivalent of $144 million. However, it’s worth noting that only 55 percent of the analyzed wallets earned 0.01 XMR or more and, of those, only 244 wallets, or around 10 percent, have earned 100 XMR or more. Furthermore, only 99 wallets earned more than 1,000 XMR and 16 wallets earned more than 10,000 XMR.
This shows that, while overall Monero mining seems very lucrative, in practice the number of criminal groups that manage to actually mine a significant amount is pretty small. Not all the Monero addresses found in malware samples made any money.
According to researchers, only 1,278 of the 2,341 addresses they found —roughly 55%— had collected more than 0.01 XMR (~$2.20) in their accounts.
The Japanese Police has already launched an investigation into the case of Monero cryptojacking. This case involved the use of a Coinhive mining software. There was a recent finding which suggested that almost 40,000 computer systems were infected with mining malwares.
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