By now we all know about Crypto Currency and its value, especially in ransomware attacks. But there is a business within the business of Crypto Currency. Cryptomining, below is a definition for those who are not familiar with it, And the blog for this week is below that!
What Does Cryptomining Mean?
By: Jennifer Seaton | Reviewed by Kuntal Chakraborty | Last updated: December 9, 2021
Cryptomining is the process of validating a cryptocurrency transaction. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin use distributed public ledgers to record all financial transactions. Each transaction is linked to the previous and subsequent transactions, which creates a chain of time-stamped records called a blockchain.
Because the distributed ledger is public, each record needs to be validated in order to prevent fraudulent transactions. Validation involves solving a complex mathematical problem that is difficult to solve, but easy to verify.
A network of computers called cryptominers compete to solve the problem first. The computer (miner) that solves the problem first earns the right to post the transaction to the ledger and gets a financial reward, which is typically paid in cryptocurrency.
Although anyone can become a miner, the cost of the hardware and energy required to be competitive and solve complex mathematical problems first can be a big barrier to entrance. Miners can hire a black market botnet.
As stated in the definition about Crytomining it is a great business to be in, if you can afford to build the necessary equipment ($15,000.00 per unit approx.) and have lots left over for the electricity bills!
Nvidia one of the most well know names amongst video gamers, makes some of the best GPU’s in the business. These GPU (graphics processing unit) chips are incredibly fast at data processing and used to build cryptomining systems. They can process data so much faster than a computer CPU (central processing unit) making them a very hot commodity.
So Nvidia in an effort to help slow down the cryptomining business made some changes to their GPU’s to make them less efficient for cryptomining, which would help to slow the ransomware business because less available crypto currency would be available and help save the planet because cryptomining uses massive amounts of power, not eco friendly.
We would all applaud their effort as law abiding citizens, but one group didn’t like this modification! The hackers!!!
So what did they do, they hit Nvidia with a ransomware attack! In a bizarre twist to the story they did not want money, they wanted them to revert the changes made to the GPU’s in exchange for the massive amount of stolen data. The article attached talks about the attack but also talks about the danger cryptomining has on our cyber security, as it is the preferred payment method for ransomware. The environmental impact of cryptomining is also a problem, but lets be honest most corporations aren’t as worried about that as they are getting hit with ransomware.