Crypto antiviruses: Their origin, functionality and use in Africa’s crypto ecosystem

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  • In 1971 when the world was experiencing Web1, the first iteration of the internet, the individuals tasked with developing it, accidentally created the first virus, the Creeper.
  • The first crypto jacking software debuted in September 2017 when Bitcoin was about to hit the $1000 mark.
  • The current value of all cryptocurrencies today is $1.11 trillion.

It is well known among veteran crypto traders that the Industry contains various issues. One of its major concerns is blockchain security and the ability of a crypto exchange firm to secure its crypto assets from any form of theft or fraud. Unfortunately, despite the low attack rate from illegitimate users, each attack surface appears to increase and improve over time. Due to the new nature of cryptocurrency or blockchain security, hackers invent new malware that can exploit any unforeseen vulnerabilities within smart contracts and crypto mining. Fortunately, Web3 cyber security is at an all-time high as they introduce the concept of a crypto antivirus. This new invention aims to refine the entire concept of blockchain security.

Why require a crypto Antivirus

Unfortunately, any digital devices and systems within Web2 are susceptible to corruption through malware. This is mainly because the entire art of crypto hacking and blockchain security is technically a business.

Fun fact, the individuals who created the first-ever known virus never had malicious intent for the internet. Instead, it was a by-product of an experiment created by the very founders of Web1. In 1971 when the world was experiencing Web1, the first iteration of the internet, the individuals tasked with developing it, accidentally created the first virus, the Creeper. It was essentially a worm, a self-duplicating program that infected an array of computers almost simultaneously.

The Creeper was the first known computer virus designed by the very creators of Web1.[Photo/PCMag]
Its founders spread the virus throughout ARPANET computers, causing a system clog resulting in slow speeds and efficiency. Later on, they found ways and means to mitigate it. Thus the first interaction of an antivirus was born. Eventually, entrepreneurs found a way to monetize it, leading to the creation of cyber security.

Also, Read NFT Security vulnerabilities plaguing the NFT Marketplace.

Since security components rely on various factors, believing that any system can withstand any cyber attack is naive. Blockchain security experts today don’t have blind faith in blockchain’s integrity mechanism. 

This malware, however, does not directly affect crypto traders, but the crypto mining process itself.

Crypto malware is the primary reason for crypto antiviruses; to protect its mining operations from long-term crypto-jacking cyber attacks.

When cryptocurrency hit its high point in 2017, the ecosystem flooded with opportunities and hackers. Each trying to find a way to bypass normal blockchain security parameters to access these lucrative systems. Unfortunately, there was no emphasis on Web3 cyber security and securing crypto assets for many organizations and individuals. This is primarily because blockchain security represents Web3. Most Web2 cyber attacks cannot affect it. Individuals fail to understand that malware is not a constant concept. Rather, similar to the digital world, it is ever-evolving. This led to the creation of the first crypto malware; crypto-jacking and the need for a crypto antivirus.


Crypto-jacking is malware that allows a user to illegally access and use another individual’s resources like computers, servers, and processors to mine cryptocurrency. This was and still is one of the most cumbersome blockchain security vulnerabilities that plague the ecosystem.

The first crypto jacking software debuted in September 2017 when Bitcoin was about to hit the $1000 mark. At the time, a crypto mining website called Coinhive published a code allowing users to mine the Monero coin by donating a small amount of processing capacity to third-party CPUs. This concept drastically boosted its rating and the number of users within the ecosystem.

crypto jacking
Crypto Jacking was the first crypto malware that allowed a hacker to profit from the resources of a valid user.[Photo/TechSpot]
Due to its new-found invention, other sites such as Pirate Bay acquired and incorporated this code into their site. They invited clients to use this method to generate funds for Pirate Bay instead of Viewing on-site ads. Soon after, the popularity of both sites led to other third-party entities acquiring the code. After altering its functionality, users could illegally embed it into other sites.

Also, Read Highlights Africa can adopt from the white house fact sheet on digital assets.

Any user or client who visited the site would automatically run the malware without their consent enabling the site owner or the hacker to access their device’s resources. This led to a huge number of infected devices throughout the system. Many within the ecosystem noticed the rapid increase in crypto mining activities of essentially registered users.

How a crypto antivirus helps

Developing a web3 cyber security is one of the first things most blockchain developers have advised if Web3 seeks to replace Web3. Before Web1, before the concept of digital money, back when money was only accessible through traditional financial systems, crime rates were extremely high. According to the FBI’s uniform, Crime reports that there were over 2000 bank heights in 1970 before the concept of mobile banking even was conceived. During the age of Web2 in 1991, they reported at least 9,388 bank robbery attempts in the US alone. This is important since it gives us a basic understanding that most criminal activities often target lucrative franchises that transact and store money. 

The current value of all cryptocurrencies today is $1.11 trillion. This is money essentially circulating in a virtual space. If Web3 aims for such a feat, it would be a beacon of crypto-malware and hacks. Establishing a competent and evolving crypto antivirus is the first step for blockchain security. 

A crypto antivirus can protect the crypto mining process from malware that seeks to take advantage of zero-day vulnerabilities in smart contracts.[Photo/Clubic]
Essentially a crypto antivirus is required mainly due to crypto trader negligence and ignorance. Aside from protecting your private key through various means like a Faraday cage or generating seed phrases with a hardwired energy source, would mean nothing. In a scenario where a hacker can plant a crypto-malware in your device and control the number of tokens, you mine or trade. 

Despite its numerous functionalities, Web3 is built on the concept o digital money and thus transactions will be the main activity even if it completely replaces Web2. Crypto mining may be a slowly declining activity but the fact remains that with a large enough attack surface, hackers can thrive.


The development of crypt antivirus is a detrimental fact within blockchain security. Despite this fact, it cannot solve all its issues. Securing crypto assets is an endeavour that requires various entities and elements to each do their part. If we expect to establish a fully functioning Web3 cyber security system, we must first establish a strong foundation.

Also, the Read Sybil attack provides a hostile takeover of the blockchain.

Any form of cyber security is as strong as its weakest link. Many might think that crypto mining will become obsolete, and because of this belief, most blockchain security experts have poured in resources and effort to build sophisticated crypto antiviruses. In addition, an antivirus evolves with time ensuring that it is not a quick-fix program but an ever-growing blockchain security feature that protects the entire Web3 ecosystem.



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Ken Mutuku
Ken Mutuku
Your Guide to the Future of Tech, Web3, and Digital Storytelling. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for concise communication, Ken Mutuku is your go-to professional for decoding the next wave of technological evolution. Whether through captivating videos, insightful articles, or engaging presentations, he masterfully crafts messages that deeply resonate with his audience, setting him apart in the digital landscape.