Mobile Bitcoin Mining Isn’t Worth The Effort, Unless You’re a Cybercriminal

Trying to mine for bitcoins using mobile devices won’t become an industry trend anytime soon, except for cybercriminals hijacking unsuspecting users.

Even if cybercriminals hijack smartphones and tablets, which has been noted in the past few months by security researchers, it still will be a slow, tedious process.  Devices hijacked with a mining Trojan tend to run hotter, battery levels drop significantly faster, and phone performance drags to a crawl, which is when users will likely notice the problem.

Using a single Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone mining for 24 hours earns just .00000007 bitcoin – and it’d take more than 14 million devices to mine a single bitcoin each day, according to security firm Lookout.

Here is what Olaf Carlson-Wee, Operations at Coinbase, recently noted:

“To make mobile mining profitable, phones would need more powerful processors at a cheap cost.  Even if this were the case, mobile phones will never compete with hardware specifically designed to mine efficiently, like bitcoin ASICs (application specific integrated circuits).”

Mining for bitcoins effectively takes a mix of computer hardware, time and electricity to make it successful – and it will remain a difficult business model to adapt.

Criminals will continue hijacking PCs and mobile devices to steal banking information, conduct click fraud schemes, and compromise users to demand ransoms.  However, security experts still recommend users be aware of mining threats, and run anti-malware and anti-virus solutions on PCs and mobile devices.

Thank you to Lookout for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of New Bitcoin World

Two Bitcoin Mining Motherboards Introduced By BIOSTAR

For those interested in mining bitcons, take a look at BIOSTAR’s two motherboards dedicated for such operations. The company has two ATX motherboards that are perfect for setting up a Bitcoin mining machine. One is based on the Intel H81 chipset with an Intel socket 1150 board and the other is a H61B with a socket 1155 board, both having support for Intel 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation Core i7/i5 and i3 CPUs.

For those who do not know, mining is the process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions. This ledger of past transactions is called the block chain as it is a chain of blocks. The block chain serves to confirm transactions to the rest of the network as having taken place. Bitcoin nodes use the block chain to distinguish legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already been spent elsewhere. A “mining rig” is a computer system used for mining Bitcoins. It can be built specifically for mining or it could be your everyday computer for gaming and surfing, and is used to mine only on a part-time basis.

With the rising price of Bitcoins, now about $1000.00 USD for one Bitcoin, GPU mining can theoretically be profitable. What you need is a system that can do enormous amounts of mathematical calculations. The best way to do this is the GPUs in graphics cards. Motherboards with on-board graphics (also referred to as integrated graphics) are not as good as a dedicated GPU card. You should therefore choose a motherboard with multiple PCI slots to fit in 2, 3 or 4 high-powered graphics cards like the Radeon series from AMD.

To create a dedicated mining machine, getting a value oriented motherboard that you can load up graphics cards is the ideal strategy. BIOSTAR’s Hi-Fi H81 S2 and H61B with PCI-E Gen 3.0 are perfect choices. PCI-E 3.0 is the next evolution of the ubiquitous and general-purpose PCI Express I/O standard and is perfect for high-end AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards.

These boards will proudly show off BIOSTAR’s in-house technology, such as audio and power regulation upgrades such as Hi-Fi Power and Hi-Fi AMP. The video output includes HDMI with HDCP which allows full video & audio support via standard DVI output.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of TechPowerUp

Experts Reveal Criminal DIY Bitcoin Mining Tool

The Security Experts “Webroot” have revealed a subscription-based criminal DIY mining malware tool. Apparently they found this tool on a Cybercrime forum and the tool can be used to Bitcoin mine on malware infected PCs.

“The Bitcoin mining tool comes with a DIY generating tool, start up functionality, installation persistence, assembly changer, icon changer, support for both Bitcoin and Litecoin CPU/GPU, the ability to change the CPU/GPU threads, as well as the ability to adjust the GPU fan percentage”

People interested in using this can pay via non-traceable methods such as PayPal, Bitcoin, Teracoin or Litecoin. Cybercriminals can use this tool on malware infected PCs to generate profit. In fact the controls are so advanced that the cybercrimianls can set fan speeds and maximum temperatures on the victim’s PC.

There are currently so many “underground/criminal shops” selling access to hacked computers and exploitative software that Cybercriminals don’t even have to bother hacking people’s computers as someone else has already done the hard work for them.

I think the lesson of this story is clear; never underestimate the value being a cautious internet user, having a solid firewall, good anti-virus but most importantly using your common sense online. Keep an eye on your CPU/GPU usage too because the chances are if your system is always running at close to 100% then you could be a victim of this type of Bitcoin mining hijack malware that is becoming ever more prevalent in recent times.

Image courtesy of Webroot