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Australian Cyber Security Centre issues crypto mining warning

The Australian Cyber Security Centre has issued new warnings about cryptocurrency mining malware.

user icon Liam Garman
Wed, 12 May 2021
Australian Cyber Security Centre issues crypto mining warning
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The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has issued a new set of guidelines, warning people about the risks of cryptocurrency mining malware being installed on their devices.

According to the ACSC, “To earn more, cyber criminals use cryptomining malware to try and hack into people's computers and use their computer's processing power, often without them knowing. This is when cryptomining becomes illegal.”

The centre has warned that one warning sign that malware has been unknowingly installed on devices is that the device processes tasks slower. Devices that can be targeted range from smart phones to laptops.

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The boom has been fuelled by the ongoing growth in the cryptocurrency market.

“Cryptomining uses the processing power of computers to solve complex mathematical problems and verify cybercurrency transactions. The miners, ­­who are like auditors, are then rewarded with a small amount of cybercurrency,” the ACSC describes.

Hackers are able to install malware onto devices through a number of mechanisms, including via email, downloading a seemingly harmless application or visiting a malicious website.

The ACSC recommends regularly updating and patching software, using anti-virus software and being vigilant opening emails or visiting sites from unknown sources – even if they appear harmless.

[Related: Crypto asset industry body unveils research showing support for tax framework]

Liam Garman

Liam Garman

Liam Garman is the editor of leading Australian security and defence publications Cyber Daily and Defence Connect. 

Liam began his career as a speech writer at New South Wales Parliament before working for world leading campaigns and research agencies in Sydney and Auckland. Throughout his career, Liam has managed and executed a range of international media and communications campaigns spanning politics, business, industrial relations and infrastructure. He’s since shifted his attention to researching and writing extensively on geopolitics and defence, specifically in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Strategy and Security from UNSW Canberra, with a thesis on postmodernism and disinformation operations. 

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