Over the weekend it was reported that a ring of cyber criminals in China had conspired with computer maintenance companies in the country to inject computers belonging to internet cafes with malware used to mine Siacoin (SC). It is claimed that the group managed to mine SC worth approximately $800,000.
More than 100,000 Internet Kiosk Computers Affected
Since July last year, when the scheme is believed to have started, over 100,000 internet café computers have been infected with the malware.
According to local Chinese media reports a network technician at JinHua, an internet café software firm, was the brains behind the illegal cryptocurrency mining scheme. The technician developed the cryptocurrency mining malware and it was subsequently installed by maintenance firms on internet café computers while routine checkups were being carried out. Proceeds from the illegal cryptocurrency mining exploits would then be split amongst the accomplices.
While most cryptojacking malwares try to limit their activities and resource use in order to avoid detection, the JinHua malware was not throttled but was instead mining at full capacity. Concerns were initially raised last year in July after internet cafes in the Zhejiang Province city of Rui’an noticed that the processing speeds of their computers were becoming too slow. At the same time, the electricity bills of the internet cafes rose significantly all of a sudden. When consulted, the maintenance companies conveniently found nothing wrong with the computers…