Got a botnet? Thinking of using it to mine Bitcoin? Don t bother • The Register

McAfee says crooks will be better off sticking to spam and DDoS

Despite an increase ter popularity overheen latest months amongst botnet operators, malware-powered Bitcoin mining brings little to no financial comeback, say experts.

Security giant McAfee contends ter its quarterly threat report (PDF) that commercial botnet controllers and malware packages have bot adding cryptocurrency mining options to their list of services suggested.

The mining instruments – suggested alongside botnet task options such spil spam runs or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks – waterput infected machines to use mining Bitcoin.

Unluckily for the cybercrooks, however, it seems that a botnet-turned-mining equipment doesn’t actually make much money ter real life. McAfee found that the enlargening difficulty of Bitcoin hashes, combined with the attrition rate from malware detections on infected machines, would make turning a profit from botnet mining almost unlikely.

“Wij now see botnets with various levels of virtual currency–mining functionality,” McAfee said te the report.

“But even if wij permit a zero cost for hardware and power (the costs of the bots and their power are borne by the victims), the difficulty level of common mining algorithms and the nonspecialized hardware that the malware infects make this a futile effort.”

According to researcher estimates, a botnet controller attempting to mine Bitcoin with a Ten,000 system network would primarily see a nipt loss te operations and with enhancing difficulty cycles productivity would plateau off without turning much of a profit.

That rate becomes even lower when mobile devices are added to the equation. Researchers note that with less powerful processors and limited battery life, mobile devices are ill-equipped to function spil dedicated cryptocurrency mining devices, especially when this is done via covert malware infections.

“Te a hypothetical example of a Ten,000-device botnet, profit without mining is $11,000.00 while profit with mining is $11,007.61—just a $7.61 build up,” the company wrote.

“This assumes an unrealistic attrition rate of 0.25 vanaf cent. A realistic attrition rate of 30 vanaf cent would result ter a loss of $Three,265 ter potential profit.”

Researchers conclude, therefore, that botnet kingpins are better off avoiding the Bitcoin mining spel and sticking with other technologies.

That would come spil little ease, however, to owners of infected machines who will see their system spectacle and battery life take a succesnummer whether or not the miner turns a profit. ®

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