A new strain of ransomware dubbed “anonymous hacking” is causing widespread disruption on the cryptocurrency market.
The new variant of the malware encrypts files with a random key, then downloads a new version each time the computer is rebooted.
It is the latest in a series of recent cyberattacks that have been attributed to the so-called “Coin Master” ransomware, which has also been linked to other attacks targeting businesses.
The latest wave of ransomware has also hit Bitcoin mining pools.
According to a report from security researcher and bitcoin expert Christopher Soghoian, Coin Master has been making waves among cryptocurrency miners and miners are turning to new ways of attacking the malware, such as changing the way it encrypts its files.
The attack was first reported by the news site CoinDesk.
It is one of the most prolific cyber attacks to date and is thought to be the first time ransomware has been targeted in Australia.
The ransomware encrypts the user’s computer with a string of random bytes, which are randomly generated in order to encrypt files.
Once encrypted, the file will remain unreadable and the victim’s computer will not be able to be recovered.
The Coin Master malware, known as a “cryptolocker”, is distributed via a downloader app on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
The app then attempts to download the file via its “crypto master” key and encrypt the file with a key known as the “cryptos” key.
This allows attackers to decrypt the encrypted file.
The user must download a different app from the same app store or Google Play to encrypt the new file.
Once the encrypted data is decrypted, the app will ask the user to choose whether or not to encrypt again.
Users must then click “yes” to encrypt once again, and then reboot the computer.
In some cases, the ransomware will simply delete the file after it has been encrypted, making the process unreadable.
However, in other cases, a new encrypted file will appear on the computer and the user will be able go back to using the computer, albeit without the encrypted files.
“This is an attack that will continue to take a toll on the Bitcoin economy,” said Soghoaian.
“[Bitcoin] miners are running into the same problem, and are not being able to continue mining.
It’s an issue that needs to be fixed.”
Coin Master has also spread to a number of other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Litecoin.
According to the latest analysis by security researchers at Bitdefender, CoinMaster encrypts more than 4 million cryptocurrency wallets each day.
This is more than twice as many as the total number of wallets in the US and almost triple the number of wallet wallets in China, which accounts for more than two thirds of the Bitcoin network’s total network hashing power.
Bitcoin has suffered several waves of ransomware attacks in recent months.
In October, Bitcoin crashed for a week and a half after a new variant called “Coin-X” encrypts Bitcoin files with the same “cryptowall” key, making them impossible to decrypt.
At the time, a researcher at CryptoCompare called Coin-X a “solution” for the problem.
A month later, Coin- X appeared to be dead for the first week of November, although it appeared to recover in late November.
Despite the new ransomware’s high number of attacks, the latest wave is not as serious as earlier attacks.
Experts say Coin Master attacks are not unique and other ransomware variants are being used.
The group behind Coin Master, called CryptoLocker, is the only one to be identified publicly by the Australian government, which issued a report in December 2016 saying the group was active in Australia and around the world.
CryptoLocker encrypts all files on a computer with the CryptoMaster key, encrypting them in order for them to remain unreadable.
Its creators say it is designed to be used by criminals who want to steal the cryptocurrency from a victim’s machine.
Coindesk has reported on the rise of Cryptolocker attacks in the past, reporting that CryptoLockers have been used by the Russian government to target Bitcoin miners in recent years.