Anyone who mines for cryptocurrency knows how much power is sucked up by an overworked hard drive, but delegates at the Black Hat Cyber Security Conference in Las Vegas this week got a glimpse – and even a taste – of the energy involved.
Security experts Symantec were demonstrating how much heat can be generated from cryptomining by producing a frying pan and an egg.
Kicking out a remarkable 66C, it took about 20 minutes to fry an egg on top of the infected router.
Although the demonstration was a success at showing how much electricity is used and the amount of heat generated when malicious cryptomining software hijacks a system, it was certainly no Gordon Ramsey – as Twitter user Alfred Ng testified.
“Unfortunately, I really only tasted the extra virgin olive oil cooking spray that’d been fizzled onto the pan,” he said.
“Malware really did nothing for the taste – the egg whites were mostly flavourless, and cold – this wasn’t a good egg.”
Alfred did, however, discover how voraciously a mining virus can eat up your electricity and space on your hard drive or router.
“During the time the egg was cooking, the mining malware actually made seven cents mining a cryptocurrency called Monero,” he explained.
“By the time the egg was on a plate, that value had already dropped down to five cents.”
Symantec was attending the conference to highlight the problem of ‘cryptojacking’ where unscrupulous miners – aware of how inefficient cryptomining can be due to the energy costs – will use malware to remotely take over routers to do the work for them.
“We’re trying to shed light on the kinetic effects of cryptojacking,” said Symantec’s Brian Varner.
“They’re stealing your electricity and putting a massive amount of wear and tear on your devices, and for what, six cents?”
You can see my "I regret this immediately" face here pic.twitter.com/lJGjUnUh4n
— alfred 🆖 @ the Black Hats and Def Cons 📍 (@alfredwkng) August 8, 2018