5 Percent of Monero in Circulation Was Mined Through Malware, Research Finds

A June 11 report by network and enterprise security company Palo Alto Networks has found that around 5 percent of all Monero (XMR) in circulation was mined maliciously.

According to the research, the mining has been done via cryptojacking, the practice of using other users’ computers’ processing power to mine for cryptocurrencies without the owners’ permission.

Josh Grunzweig of the Unit 42 threat research team collected data – around 470,000 unique samples – on how many cryptojacking miners have been identified within the Palo Alto Network WildFire platform.

The report finds 3,773 emails connected with mining pools, 2,995 mining pools URLs, 2,341 XRM wallets, 981 Bitcoin (BTC) wallets, 131 Electroneum (ETN) wallets, 44 Ethereum (ETH) wallets, and 28 Litecoin (LTC) wallets.

According to Grunzweig, Monero has an “incredible monopoly” on the cryptocurrencies targeted by malware, with a total of $175 mln mined maliciously (about 5 percent of all Monero now in circulation). Monero has a total market cap of around $1.9 bln, trading for around $119 and down around 10 percent over a 24 hour period to press time.

Of the 2,341 Monero wallets found, only 55 percent (or 1,278) have more than 0.01 XMR (currently worth around $1.19).

The report also notes that the data does not include web-based Monero miners or other miners they could not access, meaning that the 5 percent is most likely too low of a calculation…

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