In association with heise online

04 August 2011, 16:17

Twitter-controlled botnet mines Bitcoins

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • submit to slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • submit to reddit

Twitter Logo Security specialist Mikko Hypponen has discovered a bot that uses the computing power of infected PCs to mine the open source virtual currency called Bitcoins. To get Bitcoins, "miners" use computers to solve complex and compute-intensive mathematical tasks; the computing power of a large botnet reduces the time needed considerably and saves the botnet miner the cost of the electricity used to power the mining systems.

The newly discovered bot receives new orders using Twitter as the control channel. The botnet operator sets a specific Twitter account that the bot checks on a regular basis to control the mining operations of the botnet.

In mid-June, a trojan was found that was designed to steal the virtual currency from Bitcoin wallets. Version 4 of the Metasploit attack framework also facilitates the theft of Bitcoins, which are typically used for payments in which one or both of the parties wish to remain anonymous.

While all of the transactions are public, every user can generate an infinite amount of Bitcoin addresses that cannot be assigned to another person. On special web sites – Bitcoin exchanges – Bitcoins can be exchanged for conventional currency.

See also:


Print Version | Send by email | Permalink:

  • July's Community Calendar

The H Open

The H Security

The H Developer

The H Internet Toolkit