Avast News

Take the cryptomining challenge at RSA

Nancy Nunziati, 16 April 2018

RSA attendees can learn about cryptomining, take part in the challenge, and even win a prize.

If you are  in San Francisco this week, check out RSA at the Moscone Center and swing by the Avast booth to witness the effects of real-time cryptomining firsthand. We’ll be hosting a challenge that reveals the vulnerabilities in IoT and mobile devices through the mining of Monero using smartphones. We will also have a PC on display as an infected Amazon Fire TV stick forces it to cryptomine, so the effects (such as overheating) will be plain to see.

RSA attendees are encouraged to take part in the challenge with their own smartphones, so they can learn and recognize the effects. Avast will supply a power bank for attendees who wish to participate. And to inject some fun, we’re doing a random drawing on Tuesday April 16th at 5pm and Wednesday April 17th at 5pm for cryptomining challenge participants.  Each day, a winner will be randomly selected to receive a Samsung Galaxy S9.

We developed the challenge as an interactive way to encourage a deeper understanding of cryptomining malware. In late March 2018, Avast conducted a study of 2,300 PC users in the US, and learned that 40% had never heard of malware or infected websites that mine cryptocurrency. 25% reported they do not even know what cryptocurrencies are.

The study made it clear that misconceptions abound when it comes to cryptomining — 47% believe there is nothing to fear from cryptomining malware, including 13% who believe that cryptominers cannot spy or steal data, and 19% who believe that not owning cryptocurrency or not being involved in mining themselves makes them immune to cryptomining processes. These users could not be more misinformed, so this learning experience at RSA should work to clarify the matter.

“This is the kind of malware that can run quietly in the background of any smart device,” says Ondrej Vlcek, CTO, EVP and GM, Consumer, at Avast. “Our hope at Avast is to bridge the knowledge gap, dispel myths, and educate users on the very real risks cryptomining presents to personal data and device performance.”

RSA attendees can visit the Avast booth and take the cryptomining challenge at South Expo booth #429. Come on by. We look forward to meeting you!