Cyber ​​criminals kidnap computers for cryptocurrency extraction


Cryptocurrency Mining Malware May End Up Being a Bigger Problem Than WannaCry
Organizations that think they are avoiding a ball if their legacy WannaCry Ransomware systems have not been victimized may want to think again. Weeks before the attacks of WannaCry, a group of hackers used the same vulnerabilities of Windows that WannaCry exploited. Instead of locking systems with ransomware, these cyber criminals used them with cryptocurrency mining malware called Adylkuzz.
Not only did users have no idea that their machines had become crypto-currency zombies, but Adylkuzz acted as a kind of WannaCry malware vaccine, allowing mine operations to continue unhindered. In a weird version, WannaCry’s attacks could have been even bigger and more destructive if Adylkuzz had not been.
That does not mean that Adylkuzz is benign. Just as WannaCry was a warning shot at the destructive potential of ransomware, Adylkuzz has sounded the alarm about the next threat on the horizon: Cryptocurrency mining malware.
Cryptocurrency 101
Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies that use cryptography to prevent counterfeiting. You come from & ldquo; Fiat Currency & rdquo; ? dollars, euros and other money spent by governments & ndash; because they are not issued by a central authority or a debtor. They are sometimes called & ldquo; hard & rdquo; or & ldquo; His & rdquo; Silver and gold bullion are more than dollar bills. The most known and widely used cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, which was invented in 2009 as a byproduct of the blockchain technology that makes it possible.
While there is nothing wrong with cryptocurrencies in themselves, they have been attacked for their popularity among cybercriminals. While many perfectly legitimate businesses accept Bitcoin payments, it is also Dark Net’s de facto currency, and most ransomware variants require payments.
The new digital currency units are created by a process called cryptocurrency extraction. & ldquo; Minors & rdquo; solve very complex cryptographic problems that allow them to add blocks to the blockchain, and they are rewarded for their efforts with free crypto currency units. To avoid devaluation, all digital currencies have an upper limit on the number of units that can ultimately be extracted; The Bitcoin cap is 21 million units and at the time of writing, about 5 million are still to be extracted.
Cryptocurrencies have more resilience to avoid depreciation and other forms of abuse: the problems that miners have to solve represent huge amounts of processing power, which means that miners who want to use their own equipment invest in highly specialized material. Consider. For those who do not want to spend money, malware like Cryptocurrency Mining like Adylkuzz has emerged. Although Adylkuzz uses the same Windows vulnerabilities as WannaCry, it behaves more like the Mirai botnet. It does not lock any system or access data; Instead, it goes after the processing power of a machine, hijacks, and uses it to drive units of a Bitcoin competitor called Monero, a & ldquo; Next-Generation & rdquo; Cryptocurrency, which is becoming more and more popular among cybercriminals as it promises an even greater anonymity than Bitcoin.
Adylkuzz turned out to be a lot more lucrative than WannaCry. It is estimated that Monero miners took ten times more money than WannaCry hackers. It is also not the only malicious cryptocurrency extraction software in the city. It is a Samba bug that attacks Linux machines and, in a surprising version, another form of malware that goes into Raspberry Pi devices, small computers popular with technology enthusiasts. Although it may seem counterintuitive to target such a small machine, the idea is not to abuse a device, but tens of thousands, like the Mirai botnet, and to use the combined power of a “zombie army”. , & Rdquo;
Protect your systems against cryptocurrency mining malware
One of the reasons that Adylkuzz and similar malware are so successful is that many victims do not know they have been kidnapped. Symptoms of infection are vague and consist of general system inertia and loss of access to shared network resources.
Critics of cryptocurrencies have long been asking governments to regulate or even ban them, and WannaCry and Adylkuzz have made their case. However, due to the nature of cryptocurrencies, any attempt to legislate is facing a long struggle. The best defense against cryptocurrency currency encryption malware is to use the same pro-active cyber-security measures to prevent ransomware, data breaches and other cyber-attacks: make sure all systems and software is up to date; Install new manufacturer patches as soon as possible. always change the manufacturer’s default passwords; perform regular penetration tests; continuously monitor networks for anomalies; and address the human factor by educating employees about best practices in cybersecurity.

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