There’re a lot of illegal ways to make money using the computer. One of such ways is using the resources of other computers for cryptocurrency mining. And it’s a very profitable way, to say the least – it allows the perpetrator to generate thousands of dollars a month. Security software vendor ESET found that a hacker has used a Monero miner to attack Windows servers and earn $63,000 over a period of three months. The affected machines were based in Thailand, Germany, Morocco, and Taiwan, among other countries. However, it should be noted that only servers using Windows Server 2003 were vulnerable to attack.
This, again, proves that people should pay more attention to cybersecurity and keep their software up to date. Con artists are always looking for ways that can help them enrich themselves and the machines that use technologies like Windows Server 2003 is a great target for them. So installing the current software isn’t just the marketing ploy designed to get the money out of the customers – it also gives protection from the attacks and allows to keep people wanting to get rich at someone else’s expense at bay.
And going back to Monero miner, it’s known for certain that its attacks aren’t even that sophisticated. It employs the techniques that are widely available and can be deflected. So, again, we stress the importance of using the latest possible versions of software. Monero is just one of many cryptocurrencies that are currently available on the market, but it should be noted that it’s advertised as something that has absolute privacy and can’t be traced. That’s why the attacker chose it – so that he couldn’t be found. And there’s another reason for it – the algorithm employed by Monero doesn’t require specialized hardware.
Unlike Bitcoin. So, in short, cybercriminals can use the very power of your CPU to mine currency and earn quite a bit of money while they’re at it. They only need to assemble a botnet of secret miners and voila – they have an illegal source of income before them. It was first discovered on May 26 and the attacks were carried out until September 1. As of this moment, the botnet seems to be basically inactive, but ESET says that it’s completely normal. The next attack can be initiated at any moment and, eventually, it probably will be. Con artists are exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft IIS 6.0 to achieve their goals.
And not only your CPU cycles can be used for someone else’s gain, but the GPU cycles as well. The second part, however, isn’t as prominent yet, but the situation may change in a moment’s notice. The miner technology opens up great possibilities of generating profits and the only thing it requires is your hardware power. The more of it is there, the more money is made. The good news is, such attacks are easily discovered, as mining cryptocurrency involves heavy mathematical computations that hogs the server’s CPU. This type of activity can be seen very clearly and once it is, it becomes possible to stop it.
Using ad blockers can also help, as it stops the script from running on your device. And having the latest version of security software does wonders when it comes to protecting it from being abused. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where someone uses your hardware for personal enrichment, as it also puts it under additional strain and can lead to unwanted problems down the line. You now know how to stop potential attackers, so follow the guidelines provided here and everything should be fine and dandy going forward. Cybercriminals are elusive, but beating them at their own game is also possible.