A maintenance firm in China colluded with the hackers in order to hack the Internet cafes to mine cryptocurrency.
The police in Zhejiang province in China arrested 16 suspects. In total, the hackers mined $ 0.8 million worth of Siacoin with the help of 1,00,000 computers across 30 different Chinese cities. The hacking attempt was on since July of last year.
According to reports, the hackers installed malware which used to mine Siacoin using the computers which were hacked. The maintenance firm, in fact, helps them install the malware rather than detecting and removing it. This is the reason why they were able to infect such a large number of computers.
The profit which was made was divided by the hackers among themselves as well as the maintenance firm. This clearly indicates that the maintenance firm was also on the plan.
The 1stinstance of an Internet cafe noticing this thing was in July 2017. The owners of the Internet cafes realized that even after restarting the computers, 70% of the resources were already in use. This clearly indicates that a process in the background was using the resources of the computer.
This was also at the time when the value of Siacoin jumped by 400%. It touched levels of $ .01. As a result, the hackers, as well as their partners, were able to make a huge sum of money.
Increased electricity usage:
The 2ndindication that something was wrong came when the electricity bills of the Internet cafes increased significantly. As a result, they reported the incident to the police.
According to the inquiry by the police, all the Internet cafes which were affected inRui’An used the same computer maintenance firm. As a result, the police arrested the Chief Executive Officer of the firm. The Chief Executive Officer of the firm disclosed all the details in front of the police.
Investigations are still underway:
The investigations, however, are still underway. According to the police, the spread of malware is not just limited to a single city. There are over 30 different cities which are impacted. Also, this is not the only maintenance firm which is injecting malware into the computers. There are more than 100 different computer maintenance firms which might be injecting malware. Thus, the scale of cryptojacking operation is actually pretty large.
This is indeed one of the biggest to cryptojacking operations which is disclosed yet. It remains to be seen whether the other preparators of the operation are arrested or not.