Researchers at the hacking group Bad Packets are doing a widespread scan of the internet to see which pages, sites and channels are potentially using the sandbox software Docker as a means of mining cryptocurrency.
Bad Packets: Good Solutions
Malicious actors are running rampant in the cryptocurrency world. We’ve seen this recently through the hack of popular South Korean crypto exchange Up Bit, which was robbed of nearly $50 million in ether funds just last Wednesday. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but the executives of the company are assuring customers that they will not feel the losses. They are currently working to tally up the amounts lost. Once this is done, they will refund all affected customers and ensure their money is returned.
Of course, this was a theft performed on a cryptocurrency exchange, which is a completely different situation. The software in question allows hackers to potentially download malicious code onto visitors’ computers that then allow them to mine cryptocurrency through their devices without their knowledge or consent. It’s basically a form of crypto jacking, which has become a very popular method for hackers to garner crypto funds that aren’t theirs.
The hackers can utilize the person’s device to mine digital currencies. Usually, the targeted coin is Monero, which is popular amongst hackers and black-market players for its quasi-anonymous properties. All the while, the hacker is turning in a profit while the victimized user is getting nothing minus the extremely high energy bills that they’re likely to receive each month.
The present scan being done by Bad Packets will include as many as 59,000 separate IP addresses which may (or may not) have the code necessary to ensure crypto jacking efforts in the future. The goal is to first see which pages are hiding the code, then decide how best to remove it.
According to the hacking group’s co-founder and lead researcher Troy Mursch, this kind of scan is done all the time without our knowledge. However, what makes this instance unique is its size. Never has a scan of this magnitude occurred prior. It will encompass the entire internet system, whereas before, such scans would only monitor certain pages or a specific number of sites.
Let’s Look at the Whole Picture
Nevertheless, its an ambitious feat that Bad Packets seems intent on accomplishing, and with illicit cryptocurrency mining occurring ever so often, one can’t help but respect the organization for taking matters into its own hands.
Arguably the largest illicit cryptocurrency mining software, at one time, existed in Coin Hive, which has been on the decline over the past six months. However, one source reports that approximately one million separate crypto jacking attempts are halted daily, suggesting that the method is still one of the most prominent amongst cyberthieves.