Monero or XMR: what is it and why is it used for ransomware

Currency, XMR in its ID, it is an open source cryptocurrency that has gone viral because it is used to practice ransomware. We are going to analyze it thoroughly to know how it works, where it comes from and why it is used by cybercriminals.

When we get into the world of cryptocurrencies we usually lose ourselves a little because it is still far from the understanding of many. Ladies and gentlemen, it is very possible that this is the future, so it is good to know a little about the diversity of existing cryptocurrencies. Therefore, we are going to delve into the crypto Monero, an almost unknown one.

What is Monero (XMR)? The crypto with null traceability

Currency is a cryptocurrency created in April 2014, which is characterized by being open source and having a high level of privacy and decentralization. Its cross-platform support is one of the largest in the crypto world because it can run on Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD Y Android.

The origin of the cryptocurrency was based on security, privacy (anonymity), and decentralization, which has its pros and cons. Just these 3 characteristics have led to it being a cryptocurrency used for fraudulent purposes, such as ransomware. Still, it has a community of developers and users that grows as time goes on.

Its origins date back to 2014, through the user thankful_for_today, who created a thread where he posted BitMonero (BitCoin and Currency in Esperanto). Finally, the name of the project was changed to Monero and the algorithm was used CryptoNight to fulfill its purpose of maintaining privacy.

Already in 2017, it was improved with a new algorithm that enhanced privacy in transactions, thanks to Greg Maxwell and Shen Noether. Later, the news about confidential transactions was included.

What is the conclusion? Well what payments made with Monero cannot be tracked, since the transactions do not have links, being impossible to follow these operations. In this way, it is impossible to prove that a transaction has been submitted by a specific person.

Where does this need for total privacy come from?

monero privacy

“Think wrong and be right«, Or that’s what comes to mind at the beginning. In Monero, what is received is not in a wallet address, but rather the XMR payment ends in a detached direction, which is generated with random numbers. All of this is a big advantage for cybercriminals because it is a cryptocurrency that offers them privacy and anonymity.

And is that a cybercriminal whose identity is known, is “sold” and can be found at any time. The great barrier in investigating a crime is not knowing the perpetrator, and Monero allows no transaction to be traced.

Thus, it is a cryptocurrency that ended up in the Deep Web and it was used on the black market, being widely used to make ransomware. And there is silent cyberattacks that allow cybercriminals to use millions of PCs, servers or laptops to mine XMR without the knowledge of the owners of those devices.

On the contrary, when we make a transaction with Bitcoin, the details of the operation are perfectly known because the money goes from one digital wallet to another. With Monero, you don’t know how much you pay, who pays, or who receives. All this has a great disadvantage: the difficulty of managing the currency.

What do we mean by that? Well, it is difficult to see how many XMR we have in our wallet and manage them.

RandomX as a new algorithm

randomx

This algorithm was designed to replace CryptoNight, which was the one used in Currency (XMR), based on the ideas of security, privacy and anonymity. In addition, the importance of it being rugged for mining by ASIC. This is not a CryptoNight redesign, rather RandomX is an algorithm that is built from scratch.

One of the characteristics of RandomX is its randomness, and is that consume a lot of RAM memory and makes use of virtualization techniques. Really, it’s a CPU only algorithm.

Monero Conclusions

Monero or XMR is a cryptocurrency that has not had a previous mining and does not have an instant mining, so there are no tokens. It was born under the idea of ​​achieving maximum security and anonymity in transactions, so that they cannot be traced.

One of the great architects of Monero was the user thankful_for_today, giving this cryptocurrency the name of BitMonero. Later, it has evolved with the use of different algorithms: first CryptoNight and then RandomX.

Why has it become famous? For the cybercriminals who have used it as a means of payment when practicing ransomware: they stole an account or some data and returned it to their rightful owners in exchange for a payment. XMR was postulated as the ideal currency for such transactions because with the payment of Bitcoins you can track who sends and who receives the money: not with Monero.

Actually, what it has become famous for has been ransomware attacks, and today (May 4, 2021) a Monero costs € 327.46.

We hope this information has been helpful to you. If you have any questions, you can comment below and we will answer you.

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Monero or XMR: what is it and why is it used for ransomware

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