Although an attempt to use a botnet to mine bitcoins recently ended with little palpable success for the hackers, it did showcase one of the latest criminal innovations and a possible indications of things to come.
Could this also have bona fide commercial application? The latest iteration of the sharing economy could see us renting out our toasters, fridges and sound-systems to 'whitehat' botnets in exchange for a share of the mining rewards.
The software (malware) was open-sourced soon after – much to the dismay of security engineers – and, since then, different strains iterating on the first version of the botnet have cropped up with added abilities. One strain, known as ELF Linux/Mirai, has now been detected mining bitcoin for a few days, according to research from IBM X-Force, the Big Blue's cybersecurity research wing. It seems some unknown hacker (or hackers) is experimenting with using the power accumulated from IoT devices to mine the digital currency and possibly make some cash.