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Crypto-Crooks Steal Monero Using Compromised FTP Server Swarm

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Cyber-thieves are making away with the cryptocurrency Monero after compromising file transfer protocol servers with a malware that exploits its target’s CPU and power resources.

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Monero, a relatively new cryptocurrency that can still be mined on PCs profitably, has captured the attention of malware authors and cybercriminals who have devised an exploit to infect FTP servers to steal the cryptocurrency.

Attila Marosi, a senior researcher from cybersecurity firm Sophos uncovered [PDF] the malware, dubbed Mal/Miner-C. It uses an effective technique to spread and get new nodes to calculate hashes for cryptocurrency as a means of a compromise. The malware also attempts to duplicate itself when spotting open or vulnerable FTP folders, Marosi added.

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monero

The senior researcher estimated Mal/Miner C had, so far, mined Monero worth 76,599 EUR, or approximately $86,000. Furthermore, the malware had infected enough machines to earn 428 EUR or $480 every day.

Another startling fact from Marosi’s findings had the researcher state:

Here is what the full Monero mining community looks like: 2.5% of the whole mining capacity comes from infected machines.

The Vulnerability – a Seagate NAS Drive

The report put the spotlight on Seagate Central, a network attached storage (NAS) device which contains a fundamental design flaw. The vulnerability leaves the device open to exploit from hackers who could upload malware to any device configured to allow remote file access to the drive.

With remote access enabled, the FTP servers allows anonymous users to gain access to a public folder, leaving the door ajar to upload any file. In the case of Mal/Miner-C, attackers uploaded a file that resembles a screensaver – Photo.scr, within the folder – Photos. With the premise being innocuous, targets who fall for the exploit trigger the malware by simple double-clicking on the file.

While disabling remote access to the drive can prevent the vulnerability, it also disables remote access to the drive. This defeats the entire purpose of a NAS drive and isn’t the solution. Inevitably, attackers took note.

“Most[ly] all of these devices have already been infected by this threat,” Marosi wrote.

Using IoT search engine Censys, Marosi scanned the internet and some 3 million FTP servers to spot instances of the threat. While 2.1 million FTP servers were active during the test, over 207,000 of those active servers allowed anonymous remote access. Over 7,000 of those anonymous user-friendly servers also had write access enabled. Of that number, 5,137 servers were already compromised with Mal/Miner-C.

While the Seagate Central isn’t the only vulnerable NAS drive, it represents a vast majority of those exploited.

Mal/Miner C targeted moneropool.com as its primary pool, Marosi discovered. Further research revealed that the infected servers have the ability to generate 431,000 hashes per second when mining Monero. That’s roughly half of the entirety of moneropool.com which registers 861,000 hashes per second.

No Server too Small

Alarmingly, attackers have already targeted and compromised over 70% of the servers with write access-enabled, the report’s findings stated.

Furthermore, Marosi added:

If you’ve ever assumed that you’re too small and insignificant to be of interest to cybercriminals, and thus that getting security settings right is only really for bigger organizations, this should convince you otherwise.

Very bluntly put, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re very likely to become part of the problem.

 Images from Shutterstock and Monero.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Samburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.




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Analysis

Technical Analysis: Cryptocurrencies Show Strength amid Slight Correction

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The crypto segment is trading in a short-term correction, or rather consolidation pattern today, as bullish signs continue to dominate the landscape, despite the pause in the surge. The largest coins are mostly down by a few percent from the overnight highs, but the momentum of the move is not substantial, for now, and several currencies are showing relative strength.

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Bitcoin is hovering around the key $10,000 level after hitting an overnight high above $10,300, with the short-term MACD indicator showing the possibility of a short-term correction. With that in mind, investors and traders should wait for a dip before entering new positions, even as further gains are possible. The next key resistance level is at $11,300 with further strong levels ahead at $13,000, and $14,250, while the line-in-the-sand support is still found between $9000 and $9200.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, NEO, and Ethereum Classic are all among the stronger coins, while Ethereum is also holding up well amid the weak pullback in BTC. The price of the ETH token has been very stable today after a period of underperformance, and it is still trading well below the next resistance level at $1000, but also significantly above the key support near $850.

We still expect the currency to consolidate more before a clear move out of the downtrend, but investors could still use the dips to boost their holdings. Further support levels are found at $740, $625, and $575, with resistance above $1000 ahead at $1175.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

(more…)

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 96 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Coins Enter Shallow Correction

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The segment experienced a rush of optimism yesterday, as Bitcoin’s price pushed over $10,000, Litecoin, the undoubted leader of the rally hit an intraday high at $235, and the other relatively strong coins like Monero, Dash, and IOTA also shined.

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Ethereum Classic, the early leader continued its short-term correction, while the slightly lagging currencies, most notably Ethereum and Ripple, registered modest gains.

Most of the majors got slightly overbought from a short-term technical perspective, and it’s no surprise that the rally halted, especially given the strong resistance zone in the current area following the heavy selling of the last several weeks. The coming pull-back will be a crucial one, as, after the higher swing highs, the coins should form higher swing lows as well, to establish short-term uptrends.

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BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin hit an overnight high near $10,300 before the consolidation began, but it’s still trading well above the key $9000-$9200 support zone that could be in focus during the short-term correction. Resistance levels above $10,000 are at $11,300 and $13,000 while further support is between $7650 and $7850.

 

XMR/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Monero, which has been among the first majors to break the dominant declining trendline touched the $300 level, before turning lower overnight, and it remains in a good technical position to form a new uptrend. The coin is trading right at the $280 support level, with further levels at $240 and between $200 and $215.

Look Out for Signs Rotation During the Consolidation

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

As the segment is still acting bullish, with low correlation and volatility and positive volume patterns, the rotation between the coins will likely continue. That could mean that the currently lagging coins might have their moment in the sun in the coming period, so traders should watch Ripple, ETC, ETH, NEO, and Stellar for signs of early strength, even as ETH and NEO are still expected to continue their broader correction.

As the weekend is shaping up to be an exciting one for investors looking for re-entry points, stay tuned for our detailed technical analysis later in today.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Analysis

Technical Analysis: Bitcoin Tops $10,000

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The cryptocurrency market continued to heal considerably, as the major coins keep on successfully tackling resistance levels following a very deep sell-off that shaved off more than 60% of the market value of the segment.

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The sector is now back near the $500 billion mark in market capitalization, but investors shouldn’t get complacent here, as corrections will come along the rally, and the dominant downtrend is intact in most cases, with BTC being no exception.

With that in mind, today might not be the best time to open new positions, even as BTC could still get to the next resistance level at $11,300 before a pull-back. Further strong levels are ahead at $13,000, and $14,250, while the line-in-the-sand support is still found between $9000 and $9200.

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BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Monero is one of the strongest majors from a technical perspective, as it already broke its declining trend, pushed to a higher high, and it is in the process of establishing a new uptrend. That said, strong resistance is found right at the current levels and near $300, and short-term momentum is headed towards overbought territory. Investors and traders could still be looking for entry points on the short-term corrections, with support levels at $240 and $215.

XMR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

(more…)

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 96 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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