According to the Chicago-based TrustWave computer security company, tens of thousands of internet routers around the world have been programmed to mine Monero. 200,000 routers from Brazil were attacked by crypto-jackers.
Crypto-jacking continues to rage in Brazil
Malware targeting a specific brand of routers for its business infected a Brazilian system group on August 3rd. Simon Kenin, a researcher at TrustWave discovered the flaw by declaring that the MicroTik router was in its line of sight, and that over 200,000 routers were secretly programmed to mine Monero (XMR) across Brazil.
“I saw that all of these devices were using the same key on the Coinhive site , which means that they all end up in the hands of a single entity. “
“I looked for the key to the Coinhive site used on these devices, and I saw that the attacker was mainly focused on Brazil,” said the researcher.
Discriminating malware has allowed cybercriminals to find their way. The hacker has used processors and “coinhive”, a popular mining script in the Monero network to exploit crypto-currencies, without the owners of electronic devices are aware. This also facilitates the hacking of the systems.
Overcoming the spread of malware or malicious software
According to the Forbes media, a microchip located inside the router, similar to that of smartphones, has allowed hacking . Although it is not very powerful, it is still able to activate WiFi services and connect a user to the internet.
It is true that the mining of cryptocurrencies does not constitute a threat per se for users of digital currencies or their accounts. Nevertheless, it can greatly degrade the performance of computers and reduce the speed of operation of existing systems. The risk is much higher for portable devices because minning virtual currencies can cause the device to overheat.
Some solutions were provided last April to reduce the damage. However, many routers have not been updated.
Simon Kenin stated in his analysis:
“Let me stress how serious this attack is, there are hundreds of thousands of these devices around the world, including the use by ISPs, different organizations and companies, each device serves at least tens if not hundreds of users per day. “
Mining has really become a trend in the cryptocurrency industry, as well as the use of scripts such as Coinhive.
“As for the miners, they can be much more stealthy, while a single computer would yield more money if the user ends up paying, an attacker would prefer to run a stealthy miner for a longer period of time. The plan being that at some point mining would be as profitable, if not more, than paying a single ransom, “added Kenin.
Do you think these events are only the beginning of a larger crypto-jacking? Share your opinion in the comments section below.