Every since the ZCash altcoin has been launched, people have been relatively quiet about its value or the mining proceedings. With a block reward ramping up, instead of going down over time, the early miners are not in the best position to generate a nice revenue stream. Unfortunately, Zcash is subject to malicious mining software. Providing anonymity is a good trait, but it can also attract the wrong crowd.
Cybercriminals Target ZCash Mining Instead of Bitcoin
Anyone who has been keeping an eye on the cryptocurrency sector will know that malicious mining software is nothing new. Various mining tools have been repackaged into other forms of malware, utilizing computational power of an infected device to mine altcoins or even Bitcoin. At one time, such software was included in a major Torrent software, causing a fair amount of backlash.
Fast forward to today, and it appears that criminals are still using this tactic. However, they are no longer showing keen interest in Bitcoin, as it has become virtually unmineable with computers, but are shifting their focus to ZCash. This rather new cryptocurrency is attracting some attention, even though its value has plummeted significantly ever since its release.
Once thing that sets ZCash apart from the rest is how the project offers its users full anonymity–not just by masking their identity, but also by hiding the transaction’s recipient and even the value of the transaction itself. Plus, ZCash mining remains far more profitable than any other type of malicious mining software.
It is safe to say that ZCash has now become the favorite currency of criminals, rather than Bitcoin or even Monero. Over 1,000 unique users have been identified running the ZCash mining software on their computer, even though it has been branded under many different names. It is safe to say that these users are oblivious to the fact that their computer resources are being used for nefarious purposes.
Nheqminer is the software in question, and it is mostly being installed through downloaded pirated copies of legitimate software. However, the distribution of the malicious ZCash mining software could change over time, as it has become obvious that criminals will step up their game on occasion. More targeted campaigns are imminent, although it remains unclear how this will occur exactly.
Any currency that offers anonymity will be of great interest to cyber criminals. Many people assumed that Bitcoin was that go-to currency, but it lacks both anonymity and privacy. ZCash offers criminals exactly what they are looking for, and they will continue to favor this cryptocurrency over any other. Whether or not this is good for ZCash, remains to be seen.
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