NTT Security Warns Organizations About Coin Mining, Malware
Security company NTT Security has warned the organizations about malware designed for the cryptocurrency, and how they can be vulnerable to such attacks if things are left unattended.
The type of malware that is designed to mine cryptocurrency Monero (XMR) with the greatest amount of anonymity. This latest revelation comes from the Global Threat Intelligence Center, as they share the blueprint of the malware with the experts.
At the time of analysis, GTIC researchers found around 12,000 Monero mining, malware samples, with the earliest dating back to March 2015. They also discovered that 66 percent of the samples were submitted from November to December 2017, indicating a dramatic increase in the use of coin mining malware.
As of now, nearly 12000 Monoreo samples have been collected by the GTIC and data collection date back since March 2015. Another interesting phenomenon noted was the increase in coin mining malware. It was discovered that 66 percent of the samples were submitted last year between November-December 2017.
“The acceptance and adoption of digital currencies mean that investing in cryptocurrency has become a new way to make money said Terrance DeJesus, the Threat Research Analyst at NTT Security. Nevertheless, the returns on mining the currency seems to be time-consuming and a costly affair. This led to criminals design new malware that could disguise itself to bypass the barriers to entry and mint profits.
Monero Mining is a creepy technology, the malware is installed on the victim’s device, it can be their computer, smartphone etc, and the user will have no knowledge about it. The malware then uses the resources of that system to mine cryptocurrencies. The returns will directly go to the hacker, and the device owner will have no clue that something like this is happening under his nose.
Criminals are using phishing emails to target their victims, and this is the main source and tactics to gain a foothold in the victim’s system. This finding is based on research conducted on the 40 percent global internet traffic and data as confirmed by NTT security. This also highlights the fact that users are ignorant about phishing emails and website, and end up dealing with them only to be a part of the hacker’s malicious dealings.
As said about, phishing still seems to fool people, which only emboldens the hackers to experiments and carry on with their nefarious activities. The other way of gaining access to a system could be the backdoor entries and unpatched vulnerabilities. We have seen the instance where Coinhive, which is a legitimate coin mining service was misused and injected into mobile games and website.
The industry has seen a huge rise in cryptocurrency in the recent times, and the investment across the globe has only grown from 2017 until today. Nevertheless, cybercriminals are banking on this latest trend of cryptocurrency mineware to cash in, even though the value of cryptocurrency was fluctuating across the world.
As said NTT security that Organisations need to tighten up their security parameters and not ignore the mining malware threat. The impact can go to any extent, and cost organization’s money followed by reputation damage. One cannot deny the fact that coin mines have grown in the recent times and they are using better technology to keep ahead of other methods. This shape into a dangerous level, since this is intended to act as a malware, it can take shape of a banking Trojan or ransomware. So the implication for business is huge if ignored.
The NTT Securities have come out with this warning that Organization should keep a tight vigil on cybersecurity. There are simple and effective ways to keep things in check, but what slips of our facilities is something that we have overlooked deeming it to be not risky.
Kevin Jones951 Posts
Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.