Tenth-largest cryptocurrency Monero has announced the launch of a malware response workgroup website intended to address the platform’s rampant digital crime. Monero’s privacy, security, decentralization, and fungibility have long made it a favorite among digital currency users, but, as previously reported by Unhashed, recent analysis has revealed that more than 5 percent of Monero tokens have been mined through cryptojacking malware. The Malware Workgroup is aimed at becoming a self-organized set of volunteers, working together to maintain the most valued aspects of the platform, while fighting against corruption.
“While the vast majority of users take advantage of these features for good, some attackers use Monero to earn money from machines without users’ consent,” reads Monero’s new press release. “The Monero community condemns this malicious, non-consentual [sic] use of equipment to mine. Unfortunately, the Monero network itself actually benefits by having a wide set of stakeholders mine, since the network’s security is afforded through a distributed set of users.”
The press release explains that in many cases ‘cryptojacking’ malware often infects its host without the user’s consent or knowledge. Infection often occurs by the malicious mining software being hidden in downloaded content:
“While restricting mining to specialized equipment largely eliminates malicious mining, it doesn’t eliminate ransomware, and it introduces security compromises that the Monero community is not comfortable with. Monero contributers build the best tool possible; they should not make it less secure even if it means the accessible system provides easier access to criminals too. However, the Monero community does not want to sit idly by as victims struggle to understand the impact of mining and ransomware. Most of these victims have no idea what mining and Monero are.”
Suggested Reading : Learn more about Monero in our beginner’s guide.
Monero has released a set of online resources to explain the basics of Monero and mining, as well as resources explaining how to stop and remove unwanted in-browser mining, system mining, and ransomware. These resources are directed at newcomers to the platform so that beginners can learn to understand important information typically understood by experts.
“It’s our mission to resolve an unfortunate situation as well as possible,” the Monero team explains.
Volunteers working to support the Monero Mining Workgroup will be available to provide additional resources and live support to other platform users. Monero is actively working to find additional volunteers who can participate at #monero-mrw, accessible on Freenode, Riot/Matrix, Mattermost, and Slack.
The company admits that it may never be possible to completely eliminate malicious mining, but it hopes to “provide necessary education for people to better understand Monero, what mining is, and how to remove malware.”
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