415,000 Routers Infected with Malware to Mine Cryptocurrency Secretly

415,000 Routers Infected with Malware to Mine Cryptocurrency Secretly

It seems crypto-jackers are not resting on their oars as they constantly devise schemes to fraudulently mine virtual assets for themselves. The latest crypto-jacking scheme has been announced by researchers who discovered that more than “415,000 routers worldwide have been infected with malware designed to steal their computing power and mine cryptocurrency secretly.”

The hijack, which is still occurring as of the time of this writing, mainly affects the MikroTik routers. This would not be the first time that MikroTik has been targeted by hackers. Back in August, the brand first recorded a string of attacks on its routers when cyber-security experts discovered that more than 200,000 hardware had been infected. Since that time, the number of attacks has more than doubled.

Even though Brazil seem to contain the majority of devices affected by this new attack, information has shown that there are many other infected devices spread across the globe.

At this point, it is pertinent to note that since the information shows only the IP addresses that are already infected with the malware, the exact number of affected routers might be a bit off. But this does not take away from the fact that the overall number of compromised devices is on the high side.

According to the security researcher, VriesHD, “It wouldn’t surprise me if the actual number of actual infected routers in total would be somewhere around 350,000 to 400,000.”

Before the barrage of attacks started on MikroTik routers, the preferred brand was CoinHive, a mining software used by Monero. This is an indication that attackers have shifted their focus to another software.

“CoinHive, Omine, and CoinImp are the biggest services used. It used to be like 80-90 percent CoinHive, but a big actor has shifted to using Omine in recent months,” VriesHD stated.

How to curtail the attacks
All hope is not lost for victims of the attacks as they can still take precautions to protect themselves and minimize damage. Troy Mursch, a security expert from Bad Packets Report, enjoins owners of the affected routers to “immediately download the latest firmware version available for their device.”

VriesHD also added that internet service providers (ISPs) can help to curtail the spread of the infection by “forcing over-the-air updates to the routers.”

To summarize
Researchers have discovered that more than 415,000 routers around the world have been infected with malware that was designed to illegally take computing power and to mine cryptocurrency secretly. MikroTik routers have been the hardest hit in this new string of crypto-jacking.

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