Monero mining malware in South America

A major mining botnet issue discovered on the Monero (XMR) mining protocol with over 35,00 computer systems infected across Latin America.

The botnet, known as Victory Gate, dates back to May 2019.

It comes in three different variants, and was originally discovered by cybersecurity firm ESET.

Since then, all three forms of malware have been widely prevalent in computers across South America.

Monero Mining Malware a Common Problem

Most of the victims were targeted using a USB or SSD, which would install an infected payload onto the computer once inserted.

The Monero mining botnet would then be activated, and commands to the node would run the Monero mining protocol on the computer.

ESET believes it might not only be Monero, that the botnet targeted, however.

The cybersecurity specialists believe other cryptocurrencies may become a target if the hackers could offer instructions to the nodes or to download other mining scripts.

Malware Prevalent Across South America

Why Monero?

It’s hardly surprising the malware has targeted Monero.

The privacy-focused cryptocurrency is the main target for most mining malware.

It’s known the XMR mining malware resulted in many computers across the globe being infected.

They target Monero because of its privacy and are easily able to disguise their payout without getting caught.

Monero is without a doubt the undisputed king of the darknet and is widely used among cybercriminals.

Many believe this to be a problem with privacy coins, like Monero.

But many counter that by saying privacy is its best feature.


Privacy is a human right, and there’s nothing more laundered than paper currency.

However, the problem Monero and other privacy coins face is that the more popular they get, the more governments will clamp down.

Monero Mining

As well as expected government crackdowns, Monero will always be attractive to hackers.

It’s part of the privacy conundrum.

That said, it’s important we have a privacy option, and Monero is extremely popular among the cryptocurrency community.

However, with hackers continuously creating malware.

It’s important everyone mining Monero and other cryptocurrencies remain vigilant.

Be sure to regularly check mining performance.

Author: James Gilligan

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