This week, most media spent a lot of time talking about the very famous WannaCry attack. However, another malware infected a lot of computers using the same vulnerability, and was less mediatized : Adylkuzz.

As far as I understand it, that malware uses your computer ressources to mine a cryptocurrency called Monero.

Obviously, it was not as spectacular as thousands of computers being ransomed, yet I read it generated quite a lot of money (something like a good million USD).

Since that malware is less spectacular, I assume people could just have it on their own computers and don't realize immediately they're infected. In such case, what could happen to such computers over a long period of time ?

Is it less mediatized because it is less dangerous than a ransomware for an organization ? Or in the long run would such malware cause serious damages ?

  • Sources to support your claims? – Awn May 19 '17 at 17:14
  • Higher electricity consumption. CPUs and graphic cards clock down when they don't have much to do, which causes them to consume much less power. But a cryptocurreny miner will keep them busy at all times. This will increase your power bill. This is in fact a common problem for many cryptocurrencies: The value of the currency is less than the price for the electricity required to mine it.
  • Higher risk of overheating. All that electricity gets converted into heat. A badly cooled computer can become unstable when running on full load for extended amounts of time, especially now in the summer.
  • Higher risk of part failure. Consumer-grade PC hardware is not designed for being under full load at all times. When they are constantly kept busy by a cryptocurrency miner, their life expectancy will be less than usual.
  • Noise. Cheaper cooling fans can become quite loud when the computer runs on full load. This will usually be the case when you are playing games, and in that case the game will be even louder, so it usually doesn't bother you that much. But it can be quite annoying when you are doing something where you want silence.

But what you should really be worried about when you notice a cryptocurrency miner on your system which you didn't install is what it implies for your overall IT security. When it got onto your system without you noticing, you could have just as well caught a ransomware, spyware or botnet client via the same vulnerability.

  • Thanks a lot. All in all, such malwares do not present much threat by themselves in the short run.... however they can slightly dammage appliances, and of course are a proof one's system is not secure enough. – Kaël May 23 '17 at 7:40

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