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Bitcoin Security The Almighty Buck IT

New Mac OS Trojan Produces BitCoins 247

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the why-is-my-computer-on-fire dept.
angry tapir writes about an interesting use for malware. From the Techworld article: "A newly identified Mac OS X Trojan bundles a component that leverages the processing power of video cards to generate Bitcoins, a popular type of virtual currency. The new Trojan was dubbed DevilRobber by antivirus vendors and is being distributed together with several software applications via BitTorrent sites."
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New Mac OS Trojan Produces BitCoins

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  • Scamcoins arent worth anything anymore....

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I would imagine that they're being mined because they have value.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Well, compared to sending spam mails, running a DDoS blackmail or whatever else you want to do after you've looted a computer for identity theft and credit card information, perhaps it is. Like does the hacker care if he spends $1 of your electricity to give him 50 cents worth of BitCoins? No. He's taking the profit, you're eating the cost. That doesn't mean it would make sense for anyone else who'd actually have to pay their own costs...

      • by ProppaT (557551)

        I imagine they're being mined because someone wants to have the biggest nerd wang. Like in videogames where people have to have the best gear to prove a point.

        Bitcoin had a heyday about a year ago but it's a total joke anymore.

      • Exactly. Storing value as bitcoins for any meaningful length of time, or spending money to mine them is stupid. Selling them real fast for real money is smart. This black hat has outsourced the mining costs and is probably selling them as fast as they come in - that's very smart.

    • Oh but there's a guy here who says he made MILLIONS! It must be possible to get rich if you do it right. He does seem to be the only one though...
  • by willoughby (1367773) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @12:37AM (#37903936)

    As an owner of a Mac Mini let me just say, "Thank God, I'm safe!".

  • Just works! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @12:37AM (#37903938)

    I use MACs because they just work!

    --A virus writer.

  • by alostpacket (1972110) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @12:38AM (#37903950) Homepage

    A Mac Trojan and a Bitcoin story in one! Quick someone tie this into global warming!

    • by AlienIntelligence (1184493) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @12:42AM (#37903982)

      A Mac Trojan and a Bitcoin story in one! Quick someone tie this into global warming!

      What's there to tie into global warming...? Of course the production
      of bitcoins uses processor or GPU, which uses electricity, which
      pollutes the atmosphere cause it's the electricity from the coal plants
      ONLY and not from the nuke plants... but the nuke plants are just
      as bad cause they are all susceptible to tsunamis, even the inland
      ones.

      So, yeah, I added global warming AND nuke, there!

      -AI

    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      Global Warming? of course it is global warming related, Bitcoin mining uses the Graphics card which itself directly creates heat, not to mention also increases power usages, most likely this trojan is the missing link in the whole climate change debate.
    • Crazy! This is like putting a Morris Mini in the bed of a Ford F350.
      • Crazy! This is like putting a Morris Mini in the bed of a Ford F350.

        did you mean the BMC Mini [wikipedia.org], or perhaps the Morris Minor [wikipedia.org].

        As far as putting it in the bed of a modern American pickup truck that is how my dad and I transported my 68 MG Midget back from where I purchased it (near Milwaukee, WI back to the twin cities) as my dad's enclosed car trailer weighs more than the midget. Granted we had to put the tail gate down to do this, but with proper tie downs it wasn't an issue. We got 17mpg round trip.

  • Follow the Trail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by igreaterthanu (1942456) * on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @12:41AM (#37903972)
    As BitCoin transactions aren't anonymous, in fact they are completely public, it would be trivial to follow where the BitCoins end up - hopefully to catch the malware author.
    • Re:Follow the Trail (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rinisari (521266) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @12:52AM (#37904034) Homepage Journal

      It's not perfect anonymity, but there are ways to stay safer by using multiple BTC addresses and such.

      https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Anonymity [bitcoin.it]

    • by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @02:22AM (#37904448)

      If I was doing this, I would have done it just to be a dick, not to profit. That means I'd make it run on a Mac just to go along with the 'macs don't get viruses' meme, and I'd do bit coin mining for no reason other than to devalue it into oblivion because I'm sick Of seeing silly arguments over fiat currancies versus gold backed ones.

      Not everything is about monetary gain. Sometimes people are just dicks.

      • Applying more computer power to bitcoin mining won't devalue bitcoin any more than it will anyway. The software adjusts the difficulty of generating blocks so that it generates approximately 7200 BTC every day for the next year, fewer after that. More computing power applies to mining just means that individual people mining get a smaller share of the coins being generated.

        • by DrXym (126579)
          Generating extra bitcoins when the price is plunging will devalue it further.
          • That's GP's point: generating extra bitcoins is impossible.

            • by DrXym (126579)
              Mining becomes increasingly hard over time but while there are bitcoins to be mined they will be mined. And the point is that if some trojan is doing the mining then those bitcoins are invariably going to be sold devaluing the currency even further.
      • by AK Marc (707885)
        There are no gold backed ones, so an argument is one person who believes in a fictitious currency, vs one who believes in a currency with fictitious value.
      • by qubezz (520511)

        Not everything is about monetary gain. Sometimes people are just dicks.

        ...and sometimes dicks fuck pussies.

  • that leverages the processing power of video cards to generate Bitcoins, a popular type of virtual currency.

    At that rate, summary might as well have said:

    "A newly identified Mac OS X (a popular Mac operating system) Trojan (a popular method for exploits) bundles a component that leverages the processing power (a measure of processing) of video cards to generate Bitcoins, a popular type of virtual currency (something used for economic exchange (the process of trading one thing for another (something other than the one thing))). The new Trojan was dubbed DevilRobber by antivirus vendors (companies that write v

    • that leverages the processing power of video cards to generate Bitcoins, a popular type of virtual currency.

      At that rate, summary might as well have said: ""

      Well, hell. One day, the summary is too terse and doesn't explain enough.. The next day, the summary explains a single term (that, truthfully, no one pays attention to), and suddenly, that's too much?

      Fickle bastards, we are.

    • by Surt (22457)

      I kind of liked the idyllic worldview in which the author assumed that not all of slashdot had been beaten over the head with a flurry of bitcoin stories, and therefore he had to explain the term. I mean those are some fine rose colored glasses if ever there were any.

  • You have called a plumber. Plumber came in with some guy. Some guy bringed his golden tin, went to your kitchen, took your hammer from your instrument stand and started to mint fake coins. Ow!

  • While I admire the idealism of the BitCoin project, I have to remember a couple of essential functions provided by (evil!) Government control of "fiat" currency!

    1) ANY "fiat" currency is intended first and foremost to "promote commerce" and the first need of any actual business that uses the currency is STABILITY. NO (evil!!) government would ever have allowed the "run up" and "crash" of BitCoins that we have seen over the past few months.

    2) Governments chase/catch/punish crooks and swindlers - probab
    • by bytesex (112972)

      Stopped reading your post after I saw the "fiat" was in quotes. Hint: it shows off your I-want-the-gold-standard-back total-nutter credentials.

  • "together with several software applications" the article only says 1, possibly other apps. Bah! Stupid people not being careful deserve to get a trojan.

  • by GrandCow (229565) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @03:08AM (#37904636)

    Bitcoin is in a lot of trouble at the moment.

    It is not popular, since the speculators have mostly disappeared at this point. They got in on the market upswing, moving the price to almost $30 per bitcoin for a brief moment. As soon as the speculators reached their plateau, the sell-off began. Bitcoins are selling for 5-10% of what they were selling at their peak. You can expect to get between $1.50 and $3.00 per bitcoin at this point. The true believers still claim that it's coming back, but a single look at any price graph shows that in the end, anything you put into bitcoin is a lost cause. The price continues to drop as more people get out and sell what they have, plus the people "mining" bitcoins selling at whatever the current lowest price is. ALL of the major exchanges have been "hacked" at some point. I say this in quotes because there has never been any proof that the owners of each exchange didn't just decide to take the money and run, which they could have done at any time with ZERO repercussions. One of the larger exchanges was blatant enough to take everything but offer 49% back of what you lost if you'd just use them again (but accept the service fees), as opposed to the others that just delete the website and sell the coins on other markets.

    The reason that this is all possible is: bitcoin isn't a currency! It is the same as trading rocks with numbers painted on them to say how much they are worth; this means there is no regulation. It's not anywhere near any other currency in the world because it doesn't have a government backing up it's value. As much as the different sites claim that it is going to change the world, bitcoin itself is being challenged in court and both results are bad for it. If it is declared a currency, the regulations alone will destroy it. If it is declared not a currency (which it is not), it will be destroyed by all sorts of fraud charges.

    Stay away from bitcoin at all costs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by subreality (157447)

      Some of us are glad to see the price drop. I just want to send money to people without PayPal taking a cut or getting a say in who I can send it to. As such, it makes no difference to me what the price is - I can send 3 coins worth $10 or 10 coins worth $3, and it's all the same.

      The price drop has crushed the "get rich quick" crowd, and good riddance. Hopefully they learned their lesson and will stay gone so the rest of us can get back to actually trying to USE Bitcoin for something, and see what it's go

      • Some of us are glad to see the price drop. I just want to send money to people without PayPal taking a cut or getting a say in who I can send it to. As such, it makes no difference to me what the price is - I can send 3 coins worth $10 or 10 coins worth $3, and it's all the same.

        But what do you do with those coins when you receive them?

        If you keep them then you are exposing yourself to the massive price volatility and general decline of bitcoin's value.
        If you sell them and keep your money on the exchange you will likely be hit with fees for the trade and you are putting your money at risk of the exchange going tits-up.
        If you sell them and withdraw your money you will pay even more fees.

        • Right now I keep all my money in dollars, trading in shortly before sending and trading out when I receive. Yes, trading fees suck, but for the small amounts I use I don't really care; it's a fair price to pay to get some experience with cryptocurrency. The 0.5% fees to trade in and out (1% round trip) are still considerably lower than what Visa or Paypal charge.

          It's far from certain, but I'm hoping it will eventually stabilize after the get-rich-quick jackoffs finish going broke; then I could keep some "

      • by makomk (752139)

        No, not all the exchanges have been hacked. MtGox (the big one) got hacked, but had adequate second-line defenses in place to contain the problem, and it didn't affect customers.

        The attacker was incompetent. They had full database write access; if they'd known what they were doing they could've created a whole bunch of accounts with smaller amounts in and withdrawn Mt Gox's entire online reserve of bitcoins, leaving them with too few to fulfill their obligations, but instead they created one big account and ran up against the withdrawal limit.

  • by euyis (1521257)
    Should this be called "digital slave labor"?
  • The point of a trojan is that it's hiding and doing its stuff undercover. Using a VGA all the time is pretty easy to notice.

  • Bitcoin has some intrinsic value -- but unfortunately, most of this value has the most impact on those doing illegal or unethical things. The ability to control and move them across the globe, nearly instantaneously, with no restrictions or fees, and without the ability of any government/bank to stop/freeze it, has produced quite a market for it (and it can be anonymous if you know what you're doing). You say it has no value, but what about Wikileaks who have had 95% of their assets and income cut off by

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