A mysterious new cryptocurrency botnet has been detected on the web which appears to be combating the rampant cryptocurrency malware epidemic plaguing the Internet. As previously reported by Unhashed, instances of illicit ‘cryptojacking’ malware capable of using victims’ CPU power to mine cryptocurrency have been detected in tens of millions of personal devices in recent years. However, a hero is rising in the form of the Fbot: a botnet designed to track down cryptojacking malware and erase it from wherever it’s being hosted.
The origins of the Fbot are at this time unknown. It’s linked to a domain name that can only be accessed through EmerDNS, a decentralized DNS alternative, making it very difficult to track or shut down. The malware-fighting botnet was first discovered by researches at Qihoo 360Netlab, who explain that the bot scans the web for a specific mining malware called com.ufo.miner. Once detected, the Fbot installs itself on top of the malware and self destructs, taking the malware out with it.
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“Fbot spreads using the same mechanism used by earlier ADB.Miner,” writes 360Netlab. “So far the only purpose of this botnet looks to be just going after and removing another botnet com.ufo.miner.”
“The choice of Fbot using EmerDNS other than traditional DNS is pretty interesting, it raised the bar for security researcher to find and track the botnet (Security systems will fail if they only look for traditional DNS names), also it make it harder to sinkhole the C2 domain, at least not applicable for a ICANN members.”
Suggested Reading : Learn more about cryptocurrency mining in our blockchain consensus guide.
Is the Vigilante Fbot a Force for Good, or is it a Villain in a Mask?
Cryptojacking malware is elegant, covert, easy to contract, and spreading fast. It is estimated that 55 percent of businesses worldwide are currently infected. Indeed, even major companies like Youtube have encountered instances of cryptojacking malware in their company software.
Just yesterday the India Times reported that over 119 Indian government websites were hacked by crypto-malware, mining an unspecified fortune in crypto before finally being detected.
There’s no question that the world is in desperate need of something to fight against crypto malware; but it remains unclear what is driving the motivations of whoever created the Fbot.
A writer at Hardfork has suggested the possibility that rival cryptocurrency miner malware creators might be using the Fbot to wipe out the competition—a terrifying possibility given the skill of its designers. However, for the time being, the cryptosphere can only hold its breathe and hope that there might be a powerful and mysterious hero on their side helping to rid the world of a growing evil.
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