Brazil hacker targets 170,000 with crypto mining malware
A hacking attack last month launched on MicroTik routers targeted at least 170,000 devices in Brazil, according to a blog post published by security firm Trustwave.
The attack was a further example of so-called ‘cryptojacking’, in which hackers instal mining malware in individual’s systems so they can mine cryptocurrencies free of charge.
The latest incident in Brazil saw the installation of Coinhive mining software in a “mass” infection of more than 170,000 devices. Trustwave security researcher Simon Kenin reports that all of the devices used the same sitekey, indicating that a single entity reaped the mined tokens from all of the devices.
Kenin initially believed that the attack was confined to Brazil but subsequently noticed that other locations were also affected, suggesting that a worldwide attack was planned.
A growing trend
However, mining reportedly ended up costing site visitors up to 99% of their CPU processing power, leading to further issues for consumers whose devices generated more heat and used up large amounts of electricity.
Trustwave subsequently released a detection tool to block the mining malware. In his latest post, Kenin urges readers should heed his “warning call” and patch any MikroTik devices promptly, as the attacks could reach “hundreds of thousands” of consumers worldwide.
He adds that illicit cryptocurrency mining operations such as these are “a trend we’ve been seeing a lot of over the last three years, as attackers shift from ransomware into the world of miners.”