Hackers Mining Monero in Over 1,000 Enterprise Computers

Researchers believe that the number of affected servers is significantly higher than the visible ones.

A group of hackers has targeted thousands of enterprise computers to illegally mine cryptocurrencies, security firm Red Canary found out.

First reported by ZDNet on Monday, the hacker group Blue Mockingbird has been pushing the malware since last December, which was discovered by the Colorado-based security firm earlier this month.

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The hackers are specifically targeting public-facing servers running ASP.NET apps using the Telerik framework for their user interface (UI) component. Exploiting the CVE-2019-18935 vulnerability, they plant a web shell on the attacked server and then use the so-called Juicy Potato technique to gain admin-level access.

After gaining access to the servers, the hackers download and install XMRRig, a popular Monero mining application.

If the public-facing server is connected to the company’s internal network, the hackers also try to push the malware miner to the entire network.

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“Like any security company, we have limited visibility into the threat landscape and no way of accurately knowing the full scope of this threat,” a spokesperson from the security company told ZDNet.

“This threat, in particular, has affected a very small percentage of the organizations whose endpoints we monitor. However, we observed roughly 1,000 infections within those organizations, and over a short amount of time.”

Evolving ways of hiding illegal activities

Illegal crypto-mining is nothing new, and even websites with massive traffic were using the shady technique to monetize their platform.

Given Monero’s anonymity feature and the ability to mine the cryptocurrency with ideal CPU power, it is the favorite among hackers.

Finance Magnates earlier reported that the hackers are using many techniques to conceal the mining process in the affected computers during any inspection.

Recently, hackers also infiltrated the servers of blogging platform Ghost and tech firms LineageOS and Digicert to illegally mine Monero.

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