High level government officials in Russia have claimed that as many as 30 per cent of computer in Russia are currently infected with a dangerous Bitcoin mining malware that not only mines Bitcoins, but also steal banking information.
Such claims have been put forward by one of of the advisors to Russian President Vladimir Putin Herman Klimenko on two of Moscow’s biggest news stations RNS and RBC. Klimenko believes that this new wave of viruses that divert the processing power towards cryptocurrency mining is now the most profitable malware for hackers.
Russia may be under attack but the proportions are seemingly exaggerated. A report from Kaspersky Lab states that about 6 per cent of their Russian users were attacked by this mining malware in 2017 thus far.
Internet Ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev says that the claims are “nonsense” and told RBC:
DO YOU WANT TO SAY THAT THERE IS SOFTWARE THAT IS NOT REGISTERED BY THE OPERATING SYSTEM AND SELECTS A THIRD OF THE PROCESSING POWER? MINING – THIS IS A VERY LARGE LOAD, INCLUDING THE PROCESSOR CAPACITY. ANY SOFTWARE THAT MONITORS HARDWARE WILL SHOW SERVICES THAT REQUIRE A LOT OF ACCESS TO RESOURCES.
Vlacheslav Medvedev, a leading analyst at Doctor Web, also told RBC that the government estimates seemed exaggerated as it would imply “epidemic” levels. Medveded further said that Bitcoin had become too big and unsuitable for mining, and miners now preferred other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Monero. Emails and infected sites are the two leading ways hackers use to distribute their virus.