Only 4.3% of All Monero (XMR) was Mined by Malware Bots According to Study
Only 4.32% of all Monero (XMR) have been mined by Malware botnets and Cyber Criminal Operations.
According to a research paper named “A First Look at the Crypto-Mining Malware Ecosystem: A Decade of Unrestricted Wealth” published by academics in Charles III University of Madrid and King’s College London, only 4.32% of all the Monero (XMR) was mined from Malware activities and cyber crimes.
The researchers looked at a sample set of over 4.4 Million Malware strains (from a span of 12 years 2007-2018) only to find out one Million strains mined Cryptocurrency from infected hosts. The researchers looked at the data from the past payments from the mining pools and used both static and dynamic analysis techniques to extract information.
“We then analyze publicly-available payments sent to the wallets from mining-pools as a reward for mining and estimate profits for the different campaigns.”
The research estimates total revenue of $57 Million out of which $18 Million mined by a single group. The criminals use mining pools anonymously to extract value and withdraw coins, the research shows that the number one choice for these criminals was crypto-pool fr which accounts for $47 Million out of the total $57 Million that was cashed out.
The study also dives deep into two of the most successful Monero campaigns namely Freebuf and USA 138. The Freebuf campaign managed to mine 163k XMR in 4 years using 7 wallets and USA 138 which has managed to mine over 6300 XMR overall.
The research also reveals other types of illegal mining activities like the mining malware to mine Bitcoin (BTC) and web-based Cryptojacking to mine XMR. But they are minuscule compared to web-based Monero mining.
Privacy based Cryptocurrencies like Monero have gotten a bad rep from media for its usage by criminals, but the study shows that only a small percentage of Monero is actually being mined by criminals. Even with Cryptocurrencies like Zcash which provides privacy as optionality, less than 15% of transactions are actually private.
The Ethos of privacy Cryptocurrencies is to provide fungibility and basic privacy for individuals which happen to be a human right. But the focus of the discussion always revolves around the minority percentage of users using it for illicit purposes.
Find the Paper Here.
Image Source (Modified): Flickr
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