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LoudMiner: Cross-platform mining in cracked VST software

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Sounds like from this article, most if not all of the culprits were from downloading cracked software. Did I understand that right?

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Yeah, it's just cracked software, not legit stuff.

I question the point in mining in this way though - bitcoin hashes are so complex now, even the most powerful PC doesn't compare to dedicated mining hardware. And that's when the PC is dedicating 100% of it's CPU to mining.

I had a couple of USB mining dongles for a bit (like about 5 years ago), but the energy costs due to increased complexity have long since surpassed anything I could earn from them.

Slightly OT, but the most ingenious thing I read about was a guy who extended his water PC cooling system under the floorboards of his house so the energy wasted mining actually heated his house for him!

 

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The whole mining concept alludes me. I don't understand where the "value" comes from. Are you just providing a computational service and you get bitcoins for your efforts?

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The term "bundled with" is ambiguous. It suggests that the malware is not actually inserted into the code of the VST, but rather installed by the same installer that installs the audio software, similar to the notorious bundling of adware with a lot of otherwise legitimate freeware utilities. Many antivirus applications will not pick up this type of installation as malware, unless they have samples of the actual code in their signature database. Of course many purely antivirus apps will not flag adware, since they consider it to be a legitimate business activity. MalwareBytes is one notable exception, but it uses the designation PUP (potentially unwanted program) to distinguish it from a  "virus." In any case, it is not too surprising that the malware purveyors have realized that the audio community is a rich target for their wares. Most casual and business computer users have only a couple of dozen downloaded applications on their machines, but audio users often have hundreds. Musicians are also not usually the most sophisticated computer users. Another thing to think about when offered another free loop, sample or plugin. If you avoid the clearly illegal cracked software market, you may still get caught in a honey pot offering a freebie that is not so obviously stolen property.

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1 hour ago, razor7music said:

The whole mining concept alludes me. I don't understand where the "value" comes from. Are you just providing a computational service and you get bitcoins for your efforts?

The "value" essentially comes from scarcity, in the same way gold is valuable because it's rare.

The mining part involves ever increasing complex computations, where when a particular criteria is met a new bitcoin is "found".

As everyone who uses bitcoin has a complete copy of the block-chain, everyone knows the number of coins in circulation, and finding new coins to add to that circulation is becoming harder & harder.

The complexity is at such a level now, that the cost of electricity required to mine a single coin vastly outweighs the monetary value that coin has.  This was true even at the point when bitcoin was at its peak at $15,000 per bitcoin.

Mining "farms" of computers are now generally powered in places where they can get free energy - i.e. where there's a solar farm, wind farm, or geo-thermal generated electricity.

I guess that's why this malware exists - they basically want to you to pay the energy bill.

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