Some of you guys should already know that I am crypto mining on Nicehash. Basically I mine Ethereum on my gaming computer and get paid out in Bitcoin. As to whether it is really that profitable, well only time will decide. Psst….not really that much profit broskies! Especially if using only a single rig for mining. If you want profitability, I guess you will need to get a good number of rigs and be very efficient especially in terms of energy consumption. Yes mining takes up lots of energy and in countries where the cost of electricity is high, it will usually not be profitable to do mining. Furthermore you will need to tweet your graphics card to give you more hashrate.
Anyways I have been reading up a little on Nicehash recently and it seems that the founder of Nicehash – a certain gentleman by the name of Matjaž Škorjanc has quite a reputation. Seems like he was involved in creating malware botnet called Mariposa Botnet. A Botnet is basically a group of compromised computers on the Internet and their purpose is usually malicious. Just think of them as a group of computer (usually after being infected by malware) on the Internet which can be controlled by someone and made to do attacks. And this particular botnet application is supposed to steal passwords and credit card information. Seems like Matjaž had been a naughty boy. And the FBI seems to be on him for a long time. But this is as expected. I mean if someone created a malware that caused lots of problems for innocent users, surely the FBI should go hard on him.
It is also rather ironic that Nicehash were a victim of an attack themselves. Apparently through some form of spear phishing in Dec 2017 and 4,700 BTC was stolen from their wallet through some “CryptoNeuro Trader” application. Where is Matjaž’s skill when it is most needed eh? And recent news seem to suggest that this attack was done by some North Korean hacker group. And this hacker group apparently are part of the North Korean military. I guess when the world can do nothing to you, why not just go hack everyone for profit. There is basically nothing to lose. And looks like it is very profitable. The North Korean hacker group also targeted an Indonesian cryptocurrency company in 2018 as well. Seems like the North Koreans understood the value of cryptocurrencies much better than the rest of the world. Especially governments around the world.
And it seems that this North Korean hacking group is pretty well known in the community. There are primarily known as Lazarus Group and Advanced Persistent Threat 38 (APT38). But I am guessing the FBI won’t do much to these groups all the way in North Korea. It is not like they can go ask Kim to extradite the group to the US right?
It is also interesting to note that after the hack, Nicehash did pay back the customers ALL the funds that were lost. Their repayment program started in February 2018 and by Dec 2020, they repaid 100% of the funds lost. There was also an conspiracy theory that this hack was actually some sort of an inside job. And they did it because they knew that the price of Bitcoin was going to tank and they would be able to cash out first to the profit from the sale before slowly returning to their customers. Well the FBI report do seem to prove that theory wrong.
Now we can all look at Matjaž past history and think ill of him. But he did the right thing. He could have simply just close Nicehash and ran away as it is kind of difficult to even do much as most of the customers of Nicehash would probably not be in Slovenia. Much more than I can say of plenty of other financial institutions. Just imagine if our local bank was hacked, what would they do? Probably run to the government and beg for handouts. Or even ask for protection against those whom they owe money to. So if you have been mining or trading in Nicehash, I don’t think you have much to worry about. Hopefully they have improved their security. Note that in 2018 to 2020, it is the bear market for cryptos and Nicehash still managed to pay back their customers. Now if that does not stand for something, I don’t know what is. So kudos to Matjaž and the team at Nicehash.
No, I am not paid by Nicehash to advertise for them. I just feel that in the cryptosphere where there are so many scams, lies, deceit and rug pulls, Nicehash does stand out to be rather different. And it is indeed very refreshing….If you want to read what I am mining at Nicehash, take a look at this post.