More evidence of Bitcoin bubble

Few things attract fraudsters more than bubbles. When the market is rising then their crimes get hidden – especially as those speculating in the market are unlikely to want to have its legitimacy called into question.

The bitcoin logo
The bitcoin logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So too with Bitcoin – the BBC reports that the ever inflating bubble in Bitcoin has attracted the criminals who run botnets. Although these things are generally not too computationally powerful they are big enough and the market inflated enough to make it worth the while of criminals to target “Bitcoin mining“: the computationally intensive task of generating a new Bitcoin (the equivalent of digging another sovereign’s worth of gold out of the ground).

A sure sign of the crazy nature of the Bitcoin market is that it has caused inflation in the price of setting up a Botnet. Spamming – the more usual use of a Botnet – relies on the low (close to zero) marginal cost of sending out a spam email – something that is itself a function of the cost of establishing and running a Botnet.

One delicious thing to look forward to when the Bitcoin bubble bursts is that the Botnet owners will be economically ruined along with all the other speculators.

Seven years of spamming

How a botnet works: 1. A botnet operator sends...
Image via Wikipedia

A couple of weeks ago Microsoft did the world a favour, taking down the Rustock botnet and reportedly reducing the volume of spam email worldwide by a third.

Thew new chief botnet out there is “bagle” – and this is not such a great story. Because the bagle botnet – generally thought to have, at least originally, to be the work of one person – has been running for over seven years.

It is incredible to think that one criminal could engage in this activity – almost by definition in plain sight – and get away with it for so long.