Botcoin: Monetizing Stolen Cycles

Danny Yuxing Huang, Hitesh Dharmdasani, Sarah Meiklejohn, Vacha Dave, Chris Grier, Damon McCoy, Stefan Savage, Nicholas Weaver, Alex C. Snoeren, Kirill Levchenko

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


At the current stratospheric value of Bitcoin, miners with access to significant computational horsepower are literally printing money. For example, the first operator of a USD $1,500 custom ASIC mining platform claims to have recouped his investment in less than three weeks in early February 2013, and the value of a bitcoin has more than tripled since then. Not surprisingly, cybercriminals have also been drawn to this potentially lucrative endeavor, but instead are leveraging the resources available to them: stolen CPU hours in the form of botnets. We conduct the first comprehensive study of Bitcoin mining malware, and describe the infrastructure and mechanism deployed by several major players. By carefully reconstructing the Bitcoin transaction records, we are able to deduce the amount of money a number of mining botnets have made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2014
Event21st Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, NDSS 2014 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Feb 23 2014Feb 26 2014


Conference21st Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, NDSS 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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