Friday, February 9, 2018

Don´t mine me out, let it be

Many know that, according to the version of the historian Herodotus, the first coins arise in Asia Minor about the seventh century BC. At first, its objective was to facilitate the collection of taxes and, over the years, have been extending to the present. What is not so well known is the problem involved in transporting the first coins. From that need arose the tickets, lighter and easier to transport. Things have changed a lot and currently with cryptocurrencies the weight is symbolic and its transport ... well ... ask cryptocurrency mining how little it costs to move them from one place to another.

As interest in cryptocurrencies grows, so does the effort of cybercriminals to take advantage of this new trend. Thanks to a study conducted by Digital Shadows we discovered at the beginning of the week that the more than 1,400 cryptocurrencies in circulation each week, not including the new alternative currencies or "altcoins", seem more than enough reason for the scammers to look for ways to increase their income through this new trend.

After the previous study, it is not surprising that the cryptomining has reached Android. This piece of malware is called ADB.Miner and its work is based on scanning a large number of IPs in search of vulnerable devices. Once found, it infects them with the aim of mining cryptocurrency. This seems to be the first "bug" of Android that uses the scanning code of the famous Mirai botnet that already wreaked havoc a year ago through a massive DDoS attack. ADB.Miner grows as the weed and once installed on the chosen device, it starts to scan again. The recommendation of the experts: Be careful with what you install.

Another issue we have to have in mind with cryptomining is when it gets to the critical infrastructures are a threat to stability in physical processes. Well, said and done, according to Radiflow the first incident happened where the cryptomining malware gets to the European water monitoring systems. The attack affected a human-machine interface (HMI) and the risks involved in this are that it can cause a slow functioning in the physical processes. Malware turns off the security tools so that it can increase the mining timing. Smart, huh? 

Mining is definitely this week’s topic. And it looks like it’s going to be that way for the whole year in cybersecurity world. Until now, Ransomware attacks were the first in line when we talked about cybercriminals earnings, but now, with this new player in the field, it looks like that might change. With Cryptocurrency, cryptocoin mining is standing strong and getting ahead of the ransomware. Why would you invest in expensive processors if you can use someone else’s for mining?  

Every time we innovate, there appear naysayers that try to obtain self-benefits with these trends.  Cryptocoins are not going through their best time and news about the ups and downs in their value are constantly written. But it also looks like it’s not going to be something temporary. We should put obstacles to everyone pretending to use our devices as a helper in their transactions without noticing it first. Need to be said, don´t shoot the messenger.   


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