Russia’s chief presidential advisor on the Internet has stated a Bitcoin mining virus has infected up to 30 percent of Russian computers.
Speaking in interviews with RNS and RBC, Herman Klimenko said that although infection rates varied by region and device, it involved at least 20 percent of machines.
“In regions with lower bandwidth instances are reduced, but we’re looking at 20 to 30 percent of devices being infected - iPhones and Macs are less prone,” he commented.
The figures, if true, are alarming, yet Klimenko’s assessment has already come under public criticism. Speaking to RBC in light of the findings, Internet Ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev called them “rubbish.”
“These viruses appear for example on devices of users who have given permission for them to start running,” he said, adding the issue was not about Bitcoin mining but stolen credit card details and similar characteristics.
Klimenko, meanwhile, also chimed in on the motives of the hackers behind the recent international WannaCry cyberattack.
“In the case of WannaCry, the perpetrators managed to accrue around $50-100,000,” he told RNS.
“I’m therefore convinced the perpetrators of WannaCry were children because they do not understand where they can earn money in the Internet sector.”
Earlier this month, Russian research lab Group-IB warned of a domestic Android virus circulating consumer devices which would gain access to and empty any associated bank accounts.