Last year has been a big year for the crypto field and had marked itself in the history as being one of the most prolific years for traders. But despite all the good stuff that happened through out it, we must not forget all of the crypto exchanges hacks that have taken place. This year 2018 looks like a bad news all together. After the price heights that Bitcoin and other altcoins reached at the end of 2017, this year its all downwards. The prices are hitting lower and lower as each month passes with just a small and not so significant upwards price charts. Hacks are ramping up also. As things progress, it looks like this year will be a record one for the hackers.

There have been many kinds of hacking events that took place that tried to take advantage of many of the holes that the blockchain technology – as a new comer, still has. But as it turns out the Monero cryptocurreny has been the hacker’s favorite.

With the biggest number of hacks this year taking advantage of Monero, attackers have managed to mine more than 5 percent of coin that is currently in circulation.

A big number of crypto mining malware samples or 630 thousand to be more precise have been analyzed by the researchers from the Palo Alto Networks over the years. Monero has been by far the hottest target that faced abuse by 531 thousand mining samples.

There were 2341 Monero wallet IDs that the researchers had extracted and matched them to the mining pools that were most used by the crypto mining malware. These pools have provided their statistics that were based on wallet IDs, so the task of finding how successful the attackers are were quite easy.

Pie chart of the most hacker targeted cryptocurrencies. Source: Palo Alto Networks

So far there have been mined a total of 798,613.33 Monero coins.

A senior malware researcher at Palo Alto Networks has said:

“One interesting note about the figure above is that the total Monero represented roughly 5% of all Monero in circulation at the time of writing. This of course doesn’t take into account web-based Monero miners, or Monero miners that we do not have visibility into. As such, we can assume that the actual percentage of Monero in circulation that was mined via malicious activity is actually higher.”

The attackers have managed to mine well over 100 million dollars worth of Monero. The information that Palo Alto provided suggests that only 55 percent of the wallets have earned 0.01 Monero or more. Out of those 244 wallets or around 10 percent have earned 100 Monero or more. Additionally only 99 wallets have earned above 1000 Monero and only 16 wallets had more than 10000 Monero coins.

These numbers show that practically the number of criminals or criminal groups that manage to mine any significant amount is very small.

The number of hashrate that represented the mining power of all of the analyzed wallets has been roughly 19MH/s. This would collectively mine around 30000 dollars per day. But when individual hashrates are analyzed the top three wallets have earned 2737, 2022 and 1596 Monero coins per day.

Combating all of the crypto miners has been a very difficult job since many malware authors are limiting the CPU usage in order to make sure that mining operations take place only in a specific time of the day when the user is least active.