New Bitcoin mining malware spreading on Skype at 2,000 clicks per hour

Bitcoins are all the rage at the minute, having garnered a value of over $140 per coin. The decentralised, Internet-based global currency has exploded in recent months due to fears over the existing world currency, especially in places like Europe. Anyone can "mine" for Bitcoins using a PC, but a large amount of power is required to successfully mine in large quantities. 

A new piece of malware has been found that is spreading through Skype that uses the infected computers to mine for Bitcoins and then make the owner of the malware money. Discovered on Thursday night by security firm Kaspersky, the malware is named "Trojan.Win32.Jorik.IRCbot.xkt," and is spreading at an alarming rate. The malware is thought to have started in Europe, with the worst hit places including Italy, Russia, Poland, Costa Rica, Spain, Germany, and Ukraine. The average clicking rates have hit around 2,000 clicks per hour: 

The initial piece of malware is thought to have been developed in India, but also relies on servers in Germany (the IP of the server is: 213.165.68.138:9000). Once the user clicks the malware link, the trojan releases other pieces of malware which, using Hotfile, download additional information while the software awaits further instructions. The network of infected computers can be used to mine Bitcoins, as the more CPU power you have, the more Bitcoins you get. The people behind the malware then sell the Bitcoins at a profit, while the host computer is slow or unstable due to the load. The Skype malware maxes out the CPU usage on a computer: 

To avoid this happening to you, don't click any suspicious links on Skype. The malware may break your computer, or cause a serious drop in performance and you're helping fund a criminal organisation, albeit unknowingly. 

Neowin has reached out to both Hotfile and Microsoft for comment. 

Source: Kaspersky, The Next Web

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35 Comments

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This is why it's a good idea in the privacy settings to set it to only get contracted by people on your contact list. Now this won't stop you from getting nasty links from your friends, but it will drastically cut down on the other crap.

So what use are bitcoins anyway, last I heard it was only really used for buying anything illicit?

Your information is quite dated then.
For example : http://www.paymentssource.com/...ch-cuts-fees-3013622-1.html - Bitpay has 4000 merchants and growing.
Hell there are even 300 orders for BTC Atm's on back order.
http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/0...ing/bitcoin-atms/index.html
Then there are stores like bitcoinstore.com that sell a ton of electronics (basically a wholesaler for ingram micro http://bitcoinmagazine.com/bit...0000-renews-ingram-contract).
Then of course you have some one-offs like people selling cars and houses:
http://www.digitaltrends.com/c...s-porsche-for-300-bitcoins/
http://mashable.com/2013/03/22/house-bitcoins/

Will it last long term? Your guess is as good as mine.

Like people aren't going to notice a process that is taking 99% of cpu??
Then again I suppose the type of fool that will click to let this install in the first place is the same type who is probably unaware of task manager's existence.

Bad malware design though, they should be targeting the video hardware as it would be slightly harder to detect for the average user and more efficient for mining, only falling back to cpu when a decent video card was not found, not that the perps here give a hoot about efficiency I suppose.

Since Skype is taking over WLM traffic you can expect the incidence of these click the link type malwares to increase on the service.

120-140 per coin??? why am I being offered 5 dollars per coin at these "we buy bitcoin" sites that are endorsed by the bitcoin.org site??

Part of their particularly high value is the media coverage which has gone on for the past week with the financial times and other news papers putting in their name. So it 'appears' to be safe currency to put funds in.

Although it's concept seems to work there have been too many hacking and other incidents which have left me uneasy about buying some. Especially at $120+ per coin as that's a lot to loose if it goes south.

This is not skype malware, this is malware being spread through skype, big difference. Anyhow the whole bitcoin thing is going to be a massive problem now that the currency cap is at about 99% hackers will take advantage of any computer power they can get, money drives crime unfortunately.

ingramator said,
This is not skype malware, this is malware being spread through skype, big difference. Anyhow the whole bitcoin thing is going to be a massive problem now that the currency cap is at about 99% hackers will take advantage of any computer power they can get, money drives crime unfortunately.

no difference. skype itself can be called malware/goverment spy

astalvfnw said,

no difference. skype itself can be called malware/goverment spy

So can this website, any other chat.
For a matter of fact, the entire internet is being scanned and spied, and thus by your logic the entire internet is malware.

bitcoins are still a ridiculous form of currency.

an easier way for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer.
Poor man cant afford a decent computer, rich man can afford hundreds.

... one of the most illogical comments I have read ... you obviously have no idea about how bitcoins work...I barely know about them but yet I know enough to be able to say you know nothing about them

SPEhosting said,
... one of the most illogical comments I have read ... you obviously have no idea about how bitcoins work...I barely know about them but yet I know enough to be able to say you know nothing about them

Bitcoins are generated by using CPU power.

Everyone can do this, if you have enough frigging money to waste the CPU power. And poor people simply don't.
Rich people can easily get richer by just purchasing more and more power, creating more coins, limiting other people on gaining these coins.

bitcoins are total sht mate. people think its the savior for the USD and EUR as a global currency, but its absolutely not.

That's why the "poor" don't mine bitcoins, but instead recently litecoins and now terracoins. Mine the one that gives the most $/day on a 7750 I can make $80/month on litecoin for at the current price and MtGox accepting Litecoin soon I'm expect a huge price increase. $80/month not be a lot but it pays for its electricity and then some.. and even if you can't mine there's money to be made in trading.

Bitcoins are total ****? Try telling that to Cyprus where you have have "bitcoin ATMs"

Wait, they're trying to replace traditional currency with something that's generated by computing power? Where can I spend a bitcoin?

Shadowzz said,

Bitcoins are generated by using CPU power.

Everyone can do this, if you have enough frigging money to waste the CPU power. And poor people simply don't.
Rich people can easily get richer by just purchasing more and more power, creating more coins, limiting other people on gaining these coins.

bitcoins are total sht mate. people think its the savior for the USD and EUR as a global currency, but its absolutely not.

you are half right .... but the way they are mined is different its not a fixed amount if it was I would be using all 600+ computers I have complete access to .. 1 bit coin wouldnt even pay off 1 of those computers... not even 3... 5/6 maybe..to pay off all the hardware would take a very long time... you are obviously not taking in the cost of computers into your theory

DeathByPenguin said,
That's why the "poor" don't mine bitcoins, but instead recently litecoins and now terracoins. Mine the one that gives the most $/day on a 7750 I can make $80/month on litecoin for at the current price and MtGox accepting Litecoin soon I'm expect a huge price increase. $80/month not be a lot but it pays for its electricity and then some.. and even if you can't mine there's money to be made in trading.

Bitcoins are total ****? Try telling that to Cyprus where you have have "bitcoin ATMs"


Cypres nice example, you are aware that country/island is completely bankrupt right?

SPEhosting said,

you are half right .... but the way they are mined is different its not a fixed amount if it was I would be using all 600+ computers I have complete access to .. 1 bit coin wouldnt even pay off 1 of those computers... not even 3... 5/6 maybe..to pay off all the hardware would take a very long time... you are obviously not taking in the cost of computers into your theory


Uhm, a proper quadcore CPU today goes for <50 bucks. Motherboards are cheap too. For a measely thousand euro's i'll have enough hardware and multiple systems dedicated to gather me some bitcoins for years.
Let alone if you have 5 grand or 10 grand to spare, its a nice initial investment but it barely costs anything to keep it running for several years nonstop. Especially since for 1 or 2 grand you have a few solar panels to keep the electricity cost low.

So you 1 system 80 bucks a month, for 1 grand I'll have 4 or 5 systems dedicated for it with decent resources. That's 320-400E a month, so after 3 months I'll have my investment back of 1 grand.
~50bucks a month per computer to keep it running 24/7, which is based on a full desktop with 2 monitors, which those don't need. just a mobo, bit of ram, decent CPU and a harddrive to run an OS on. So 25-30bucks a month each, if you take that into account, my investment is earned back and then some after 4-5 months.

Just imagine how much money you can make if you invest 10 grand in it, after the initial ~6months, you can live on that income and then some.

Edited by ShadowMajestic, Apr 6 2013, 10:33pm :

And lets be honest, CPUs aren't even the hardware device true bitcoin enthusiast use. They're using GPUs as its WAY more effective with bitcoins on how they work. People are literally running quad gpu systems and sometimes 2 or 3 of them at any given time. Last time I looked there was a guy on youtube running 3 systems with either 8x 5870s and 4x 5850s making about 5GHs. Due to all the power requirements he had to redo his entire breaker box to feed solid 220 lines to specific breakers for those machines.. Another one I saw he was running a 24 machine beast making 48GHs..

I would say CPUs are for the people who don't quite understand bitcoins while GPU bitcoining is where the powers at. Period.

I think the way in which Bitcoins are gained/managed needs to drastically change before it becomes mainstream. Otherwise you can bet this hacking/mining will keep increasing exponentially until it's market bottoms out.

Tartan said,
I think the way in which Bitcoins are gained/managed needs to drastically change before it becomes mainstream. Otherwise you can bet this hacking/mining will keep increasing exponentially until it's market bottoms out.

Mining becomes exponentially more difficult though