Dara Security

BitCoin Mining…Are You Helping?

August 06, 2014

Search the Internet and you can readily find news regarding BitCoin. However, if you haven't heard of BitCoin, you should know it is a type of Digital Currency that is gaining a foothold in the Cyber-world as a payment method. In fact, it is bleeding over into the brick-and-mortar world as some merchants have decided to accept BitCoins as payment for good and services.

Like any other currency, even the US dollar, the value of BitCoin is directly tied to the value people assign to it when it is used in payment transactions. And like other currencies, this value is tied to the effort required to acquire it.

What Is BitCoin Mining?

So how does one acquire BitCoins? One mines for BitCoins. Since BitCoin isn't associated with a government or bank, BitCoin Mining is the key to acquiring them. BitCoin miners use special software to solve math problems and are issued a certain number of BitCoins in exchange. This provides a way to issue the currency and also creates an incentive for more people to mine. Based on comments from BitCoin advocates, mining is an important and integral part of BitCoin that ensures fairness while keeping the BitCoins network stable, safe and secure.

How To Begin Your BitCoin Mining

In order to begin mining for BitCoins, you'll need to acquire BitCoin mining hardware. In the early days of Bitcoin, it was possible to mine with your computer CPU or high speed video processor card. Today, that is no longer possible. Devices with custom ASIC chips offering up to 100x the capability of older systems have come to dominate the industry. BitCoin Mining with anything less will consume more in electricity than you're likely to earn. Once you've received your BitCoin Mining hardware, you'll need to download and install a special program used for mining. Once your hardware and software are ready, you may mine by yourself or join a mining group and split the reward. In either case, you need to set up a BitCoin wallet and have your BitCoin mining software configured to deposit the mined BitCoins directly into your wallet.

BitCoin Mining Is A Target For Hackers

It sounds simple enough to set up an application on a computer and mine BitCoins. However, there is a catch. No one said the computer needed to belong to the miner. Why spend money for special mining hardware when there are literally millions of computers on the Internet just waiting to do a little mining on the side? Just like hackers did with BotNets, compromising home computers and SMB computers to launch massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to take down corporate websites and networks, less scrupulous miners are doing the same with BitCoin mining software. Hackers are compromising machines, installing mining software to run in the background and using the machineís resources to mine away. For a home-user, this will generally just result in poor machine and network performance, which results into general frustration. For an SMB, this poor performance can result in loss of revenue. If the compromised machine is an eCommerce site, poor performance results in loss of consumers. In addition, one can see an increase in expenses due to electrical use and possible data usage fees depending on your ISP plan. Finally, what is most concerning, someone else has access to the your computer and the precious data contained within.

How Dara Security Helps You Avoid BitCoin Mining Hackers

Whether BitCoin becomes the default Cyber-Currency of Internet remains to be seen. But what has to be recognized is that BitCoin and other Digital Currency have given hackers yet another reason to hack into your systems.

Dara Security is a different kind of 'hacker,' the professional kind that help defend your company for cyber attacks. Call Dara Security today to find out how we can keep you safe online!