back to article Bitcoin's so over. We're mining Primeco... Oh SNAP, my box is a ZOMBIE!

Security experts have warned crypto-currency fans of malware hidden in certain miners for Bitcoin-alike cryptocurrency Primecoin. The malicious Primecoin miners were found on various Chinese sites and torrents by Panda Security researcher Mehrdad Yazdizadeh. "Primecoin miners are written in Python and other scripting languages …

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Coffee/keyboard

Plot for a 90's scifi?

Is it me or is it looking like Chinese script-kiddies are going to rule the world?

and more "It replicates through the file systems of the infected machine and disables any antivirus programs it finds, according to the report."

Starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves?

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Happy

Re: Plot for a 90's scifi?

Luckily, I've disconnected my 2.4 kilobaud modem from it's coupler.

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Erm

Not even sure what this means:

“On execution, the malware will inject the SQL server to cmd.exe, svchost.exe, explorer.exe and similar processes to hide itself as rootkits."

Someone care to explain?

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Re: Erm

Sounds like the invented tech-speak you hear on TV. That'll be on a web site with IP 350.299.1000.290

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Re: Erm

> “On execution, the malware will inject the SQL server to cmd.exe, svchost.exe, explorer.exe and similar processes to hide itself as rootkits."

I think it is like setting them up the bomb

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Erm

Someone care to explain?

A rough translation is "it's all far too complicated for you to understand so buy our software to be safe"

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Re: Erm

Translation:

I haven't a clue what I'm talking about, so I will string together some phrases which I believe are pertinent to the issue and hope that it makes sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Erm

Not sure, closest thing I can come up with is it modifies the cmd.exe etc files to contain code that hosts an SQL Server. These run in the background, nigh-undetectable as every Windows systems runs several svchosts and can run several Explorers (indeed one's running all the time as the Shell). Presumably it's not a full SQL Server implementation but something more akin to SQLLite.

In this event, it seems like it'd be a piece of piss to determine if you were infected simply by comparing file sizes in Explorer (or, more reliably, doing a full binary comparison).

Like I say. No idea. But that's how I read it. Alternatively, as the others say, it's just them creating a GUI in Visual Basic to track the IP addresses- because RISC is good.

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I have been looking into ...

.... currency mining to see what I could get out of the old desktops and servers I have lying around. Windows is on the majority of machines I own as I enjoy PC gaming. But even I and some of the most die hard fans of Windows would know that for a process so valuable, it should not be run on an OS which is still a high priority target for any miscreant, without researching how to lock it down so tightly it would Linus hard. Even worse is what the hell are you doing downloading the software from such sites?

I'm going to be trying it with both a linux machine and a windows machine and already have an old reliable mint laptop I can use for the wallet. The more I read about mining it seems that a number of people involved just installed it on a whim and didn't bother doing any research.

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Re: I have been looking into ...

Unless they have kick ass ATI graphics card it is a wasted effort . The difficulty is so high on Bitcoin only ASIC based machines are feasible. Other Altcoins mostly rely on Scrypt which needs GPU's to be useful.

Primecoin is an exception as it can be mined by CPU's only at the moment but it is near worthless and will likely be buried under all the other clone coins. Also you need a lot of CPU power to be remotely profitable which is why its a botnet owners wet dream.

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Re: I have been looking into ...

This, basically.

Litecoin is the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and mining it is still somewhat viable using GPUs, but they absolutely have to be AMD ones, and as high end as possible. Other altcoins also tend to use Scrypt like Litecoin, and thus will still kick arse on AMD architecture. NVIDIA comes nowhere close for this particular purpose.

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Re: I have been looking into ...

I read somewhere that you can only pay for the electricity used if you have a seriously efficient data centre somewhere cold so you don't need air-con. Any thoughts?

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Re: I have been looking into ...

All quite handy tips, thanks guys. As an AMD and ATI user for a number of years I have a few kicking around from x850's all the way up to 7 series. This won't be a serious 'This will be a major investment and needs instant return' thing for me, just a 'I have some kit so will dip my toe in'.

As for the datacentre, I have a basement I can run them from which even in summer never gets above 18 celcius.

If I manage to get even 1 coin after a few months that would be used for the newer mining toys (if it gets that far) leaving the current kit good for the other currencies that still use GPU.

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Magical Internet Money

I wrote a Google Chrome plugin that changes the word "Bitcoin" on every site you browse to "Magical Internet Money". Makes bitcoin related websites and news articles a lot funnier:

https://github.com/d3rrial/magiccoins

Scrypt mining is very much profitable btw. I'm buying and buying hardware for more and more hashing power. Malware casts a bad light on crypto-currencies, true, but we are in the process of "forging" a weapon against that ;)

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Re: Magical Internet Money

Profitability.

Single AMD 7970 GPU costs approx £220 , Generates approx 650kH/sec

At current difficulty with a single GPU mining Litecoin you'll earn $3.88 / £2.36 a day

Cost for running each GPU ( assume 250w ) = 6Kwh @ .15p p/kWh = .90p running costs

Pool fees = 1%

Total Profit single GPU = £1.46 per day. Then you just need 150 days ( at current prices ) to pay back the cost of the card ( this is assuming your motherboard , 750w PSU , RAM and CPU were free )

If you get free power ( Cough ) then you'll get your money back quicker.

Note , this assumes the difficulty doesn't increase , which it does over time and thus if the price remained static ( circa $24 per litecoin ) and the difficulty increased you'll maybe break even after six months.

The speculation comes 'if' the price of a litecoin doubles in price.

Yes , you can make money mining alt-coins , especially if you have free power and good cooling but if you're going to speculate , save yourself the hassle and just buy a Bitcoin and wait.

This is coming from a man who's running some pretty serious mining H/W and in scale, because scale matters along with institutional funding...

Just putting the mining profitability into perspective.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Magical Internet Money

any idea of the equivalent profit to be made by buying £220 of bitcoin now and waiting 6 months?

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Re: Magical Internet Money

You could lose 50-98% of your investment or 1 BTC could go to 40k. No one knows. Its all just speculation. Play with money you can afford to lose and wait. If adoption rates continue to rise and .. the big if... there isn't a massive US clampdown like there was in china mid December. . It 'could' be worth buying a bit and waiting. Best time to buy is immediately after some bad news. Proceed with caution.

I work in VC and the current thinking is that between 0.5-1% of your investment should be in BTC. However. . If you have credit card debt.. pay that off first.. there is no easy money

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Re: Magical Internet Money

@Andy Roid

I agree that mining litecoin is practically improfitable. I'm using middlecoin.com to mine various crypt-currencies and auto-sell them for bitcoin. I make around 0.01 bitcoin per day if I only run the gaming PC while I am at work and have it either off when sleeping or in use for gaming the rest of the day. Thats around $8 per day at electricity costs of roughly $4 per day. I am using 2 R9 290X cards for mining scrypt... Probably will purchase another couple of R9 290s for scrypt mining, because it really is profitable, and I'm living in Germany. We have HORRENDOUS electricity costs.

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Two sure ways to get rich mining.

1. Sell supplies to miners.

And/or

2. Rob miners.

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Angel

Ah Poetic Justice

I love it when the stupidity of the greedy catches up to them.

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Re: Ah Poetic Justice

Would you please enlighten me as to what you are referring to?

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He's referring to the fact that BTC mining is a pipe dream today - anyone intending to make money out of it is kidding themselves. There are factories making machines specifically created only for BTC mining. If you are not using one of those, you're so far behind the curve it's laughable. If you are using one of those, you're just making the wheel go 'round.

Proof : the one guy in this thread who thinks he can still mine a BTC says that he'll use the money to buy better equipment.

I'll just sit back and have a margherita. Sounds like a better investment to me.

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