Ukraine Uncovers Crypto Mining Plot at Judicial Administration

Security officers say the mining operation had been running for about six months by the time they discovered it.

Ukrainian security officers are examining the computers of the State Judicial Administration as the facilities were infected with malware designed to steal their computing power and secretly mine cryptocurrency.

A group of unknown hackers, which are still uncovered, began the string of crypto-jacking attacks back in January, media reports say.

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Security researchers found a malware dubbed MinerGate, which adopts one of the most effective techniques used by other malware families, including fileless infection attacks.

Focused on mining Monero cryptocurrency, the Security Service of Ukraine said the miner software was discovered after checking the server equipment of the data center and the computer system.

The statement further explains that the crypto scam was first spotted after the news of nearly three weeks were lost on the websites of the courts and the “Judicial Power of Ukraine” web portal.

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“At the same time, the e-mail service did not function in the judicial administration in the courts, other bodies and institutions of the justice system. There was no access to a number of electronic services provided by ESITIS,” it further explains.

Various cases involving the practice

They added that the mining operation had been running for about six months by the time they discovered it, and the attackers have been using wallets that the researchers haven’t detected yet.

Earlier last year, Ukraine authorities said they have no plans to regulate cryptocurrency mining, and warned miners that they could face hefty fines or having their equipment confiscated.

Ukraine and several countries have recently intensified their efforts to crack down on ‎cryptocurrency mining, which involves an energy-intensive process of solving math ‎problems to add transactions to the blockchain.‎

Various cases involving the practice have surfaced in the media, including a case in November when a Chinese headmaster was fired after a secret stack of crypto mining machines was found connected to his school’s electricity supply. In another instance, six individuals were arrested in Tianjin for using 600 miners to generate bitcoin with power taken from the local power grid.

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