The alternative economy created by the crypto sphere has always been viewed with a bit of skepticism by many people. This skepticism of the Cryptocurrency industry only continues to be fuelled by the recent cyber-attacks and hackings that seem to be plaguing many crypto sites. In a recent stream of attacks, hackers have gotten access to hundreds of sites, infecting them with malicious software that helps them utilize other peoples’ computers in mining Cryptocurrency for themselves through the browsers.
Drupal Content Management Hacked
The most recent attack has seen hundreds of websites that use the system, Drupal Content Management come under attack. These websites were injected with malicious software; this software manipulates other peoples computers, in turn, giving the computation power to the hackers. The hackers then used this power to mine Monero for themselves.
The attack was discovered by Troy Mursch, a security researcher working for Bad Packets Report. He reported that many websites, over a hundred, were affected in the attack. He said that the hackers installed browser-mining software, Coinhive, in other peoples computers. By doing this, he said that the hackers took advantage of a weak spot in the Drupal Content Management system which is outdated, installed the software then used the computational power in mining Monero.
From Ransomware To Cryptojacking
Cryptojacking incidences continue to be rampant in recent times as compared to the past when ransomware was more common. Through ransomware, the hackers would gain access to another computer; scramble the data by encrypting it and holding it hostage. They would then ask for ransom to be paid in order for them to decrypt and release the data. The data would then only be released upon payment made in Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies.
The main reason crypto jacking seems to be gaining more popularity may be because they can easily gain access to and use the computational power of another computer to mine Cryptocurrency for themselves without the victim ever suspecting that their computer is being used to mine for someone else’s benefit. This is increasingly becoming the main route hackers are using to make money for themselves.
The Tell-Tale Signs
The most noticeable tell-tale sign that your computer is being used to mine Cryptocurrencies in the background, is that it will be drastically slow, compared to when it is not. Even though this is the only sign that is noticeable, it does not mean there aren’t further implications. When this continues for a long period of time, the computer processing chips increasingly undergo stress which can, in turn, cause wear and tear.
Recently, Japan has been investigating the increasing cases of crypto jacking which have been involving Coinhive. There have been three individuals under investigations thus far. In his defense, one of the accused claimed that Coinhive should not be considered a virus. He said that utilizing the software was just an avenue of monetizing traffic, going further to comparing it to an online ad distribution. Officials have said they are looking to have the case tried criminally, stating that the installation and operation had been done without the victim’s consent.