Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have long been criticized for the absolutely insane amount of electricity and computing resources they require. As of last year, the Bitcoin network—comprised of all the machines on Earth running the Bitcoin software—used 6,000 times more computing power than the world’s top 500 supercomputers combined to run the decentralized system that mines and tracks the digital currency.
By Joshua Kopstein | MOTHERBOARD
But while many have tried to come up with constructive ways to utilize all those CPU cycles, two mischievous researchers recently proposed the opposite: A malicious cryptocurrency that can only be mined by participating in digital attacks on other computers.
In a paper presented at the 2016 USENIX computer security symposium, researchers Eric Wustrow and Benjamin VanderSloot propose what they call “DDoSCoin,” a theoretical cryptocurrency that uses a “malicious proof-of-work” derived from participating in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, the digital blockades that make websites temporarily unavailable by flooding them with millions of simultaneous requests.
“On the other hand, something similar to DDoSCoin might lower the barrier to collecting rewards for DoS attacks, ultimately driving down the cost for hacktivist consumers“