Threat intelligence research team Cisco Talos has discovered a cryptocurrency mining botnet attack dubbed Prometei. The main purpose of the actor is to deploy users’ computer systems to mine Monero (XMR). Another possible goal is to steal Bitcoin (BTC) wallets that might be protected by passwords stolen with open-source app Mimikatz.
Monero is a privacy-focused cryptocurrency launched in 2014. Unlike some other cryptocurrencies, Monero is not a Bitcoin fork and is based on its own whitepaper and codebase.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies draw more and more attention from regulators and politicians around the world. Governments openly pursue monitoring of transactions. They tend to restrict or ban digital currencies that make the monitoring job harder.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is ‘quietly’ pressuring local cryptocurrency exchanges to delist privacy-focused altcoins such as Monero, Zcash, and Dash.
Bitcoin’s December rally caused some hype both in the cryptocommunity and in mainstream media, even though the latter has earlier repeatedly predicted its imminent death. The explanation is obvious: price increase upwards of 100 percent over 12 months is something any investor dreams of.