Yahoo Virus Converts Millions Of Computers Into Bitcoin Mining Slaves
January 8, 2014
Source: Zero Hedge
A few days ago it was revealed that numerous European users of Yahoo, as many as two million, had gotten infected with malware from virus-laden ads served by Yahoo's homepage during the period from December 31 to January 3. The company admitted as much when it revealed that "From December 31 to January 3 on our European sites, we served some advertisements that did not meet our editorial guidelines – specifically, they spread malware." Users in North America, Asia Pacific and Latin America weren't affected, Yahoo said. Nor were users of Apple Macs or mobile devices. "We will continue to monitor and block any advertisements being used for this activity," the company added. "We will post more information for our users shortly." What was not clear is just what function the ad virus served. According to the Guardian, the purpose of the most prevalent virus spread by the website was to convert the infected computers into Bitcoin mining slaves.
According to the Guardian, "some of the malware would turn PCs into bitcoin miners - a huge drain on its computing resources - without users' knowledge. Yahoo has been criticised for not saying how many people could be affected or doing anything to help those with the malware, which attacked flaws in Java modules on systems."
As a reminder, in "A trip through the Bitcoin mines" we showed just how extensive the capital requirements can be for any legitimate Bitcoin mining operation, where the distributed calculations used to extract new Bitcoins have now risen to a stunning 10 quadrillion per second.
Fox IT, the Dutch cybersecurity firm which first disclosed the vulnerability to the public, estimated that there were around 27,000 infections every hour the malware was live on the site.