Hackers arrested after infecting thousands of computers with cryptomining malware

November 09, 2018
Darya Karatkevich

A group of hackers were arrested in South Korea this week after they were caught injecting cryptomining malware into 6,000 computers. Despite a large number of victims, the group was only able to generate a mere $1,000 in profit.

Cryptomining hack in Korea

At the end of 2017, a group of five men led by 24-year-old Kim Amu-gae, gained access to more than 30,000 email addresses from various job recruitment websites. Posing as potential job seekers or employers, they sent out over 32,000 emails with attachments disguised as documents related to employment opportunities and resumes. Upon downloading the files, the computers of unsuspecting victims were then infected with malware with the purpose of mining cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Bitcoin, and Ethereum.

What the hackers did not expect was the capability of anti-virus software, which identified and deleted the malware within a week’s time. According to local police, because many of the targeted computers were installed with such software, the group was unable to further infect other computers.

Although this case occurred in South Korea, it’s naive to believe that these attacks are restricted to certain areas. New techniques such as disguising malware that poses as ‘Adobe Flash’ updates are constantly being implemented to deceive victims into installing malware onto there devices. Once installed, the malware wreaks havoc on victims’ computers while hackers sit back and reap the benefits. Malware is being delivered by hacker groups on a global scale, and although new and creative techniques are being used, there are a variety of ways to protect your computer. Some of them include installing antivirus software, running regular scans, keeping your current OS updated, as well as working on secured networks.

Post written by Darya Karatkevich
Darya is a blockchain market observer with 5+ years of experience as an author and editor for major tech blogging platforms. Her fortes are blockchain technologies and solutions, cryptocurrencies and crypto-related regulations.

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