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Rise of the Miners

Over the past year, we've witnessed a shift in malware used by both the common criminal, and targeted actor alike. While ransomware was the bell of the ball in the past, it has been replaced with the up and coming cryptocurrency miner. This talk will explore the trends witnessed in the past year as they pertain to the rise in popularity of cryptocurrency miners being used and deployed by criminals. We'll talk about how and why this transition has occurred, as well as a number of interesting case studies about how this malware winds up on a victim's machine. Finally, we'll also discuss the most popular cryptocurrencies being mined today, and strategies you can take to mitigate this threat.

Presenter: Josh Grunzweig (@jgrunzweig)
Josh Grunzweig is a malware researcher on the Unit 42 team at Palo Alto Networks. He spends most of his days reversing malware, researching campaigns, scripting in Python, or working with others to take down malware threats. In the past he's looked at a wealth of malware families, including ransomware, crypto miners, targeted RATs, backdoors, and keyloggers, to name a few. He's been reversing malware for over 8 years and doesn't see it stopping anytime soon. Prior to malware analysis, Josh dabbled in a number of jobs in the past, including vulnerability research, network administration, system administration, and the coveted helpdesk position.