The Russian authorities have prosecuted two citizens of the country for illegally mining digital currencies on computers of state organizations.
Reported by local media outlet TASS on Monday, the two perpetrators were targeting computer hardware of state organizations to mine cryptocurrencies using web browsers.
Though the report did not reveal the identity of the perpetrators, it detailed that one of the charged is is a resident of Kurgan, who used almost a whole botnet in various regions of the country, while, in the second case, a criminal case was initiated on the fact of using the site of JSC Rostovvodokanal for mining.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Nikolay Murashov, deputy director of the National Coordination Center for Computer Incidents, said: “In Russia, there have been two cases recently when people were brought to criminal responsibility for getting access to computers [of state organizations] and using them to mine cryptocurrencies.”
A profitable illegal activity
He also pointed out that the high electricity cost and the ability to mine digital currencies using normal computers are behind the rising number of illegal cryptocurrency mining activities.
In addition, he also pointed out the excessive utilization of processing power, causing degradation of the performance of the computers, resulting in a massive loss of affected businesses.
“Up to 80% of the computer’s free power can be used to generate virtual coins, and a legitimate user may not even know about it,” Murashov added.
Due to the associated profits, cryptojacking has become very popular among hackers, and they are evolving tactics to deceive programs to detect their activities. FortuneZ recently reported that hackers are using process hollowing techniques to hide crypto mining activities on victims’ computers. Meanwhile, another popular botnet malware – Stantinko – also turned to crypto mining and is using YouTube to evade detection.