Cryptojacking—the illegal act of mining cryptocurrency using someone else’s computer without authorization—is one of the major ways hackers …..
Banbreach, an Indian-based security firm, has released a report showing an increased number of routers affected by cryptojacking software in India.
In its post released on Thursday, Banbreach noted that the number of compromised routers is almost 30,000, double the number from last month. For cities with the highest prevalence of infected routers, Banbreach said the increase is five-times the numbers from last month.
“#Cryptojacking in #India: Nearly 30,000 #MikroTik routers in India are infected with #Coinhive. Here’s what it looks like today via two different search engines. (h/t @bad_packets for finding this originally)”
The security firm tracked the traffic on all devices connected to the internet via public IP addresses and was able to identify traffic passing through routers. With this data, Banbreach sought to find a pattern around the cryptojacking activity.
Breakdown of Cryptojacking findings
Banbreach discovered that less densely populated areas had more proportion of infected routers. Having grouped the cities into three tiers—tier 1 being the most populated—it found that Tier 3 was the most affected followed by tier 1 and finally tier 2 as the chart portrays.
The cryptojacking report by Banbreach comes after it was revealed last month that hackers were already using 280,000 MicroTik routers to illegally mine Moreno [XMR] illegally from peoples’ PCs. In the previous month, the number of infected routers was 200,000.
Considering the menace which this is, efforts have been made to curb this activity of hackers. As Smartereum reported in April, Google banned cryptocurrency mining extensions on its Chrome browser. Recently it reviewed its Chrome browser extension policy to reject extensions which had hidden code and add closer monitoring of certain extensions. This move, cryptocurrency observers believe, will stop unauthorized mining of using Chrome browser extensions.
The National Cyber Security Center of the U.K also raised warning against cryptojacking in the country, expressing concerns that website owners will look to it as a new source of generating revenue. To generate revenue, site owners incorporate mining software CoinHive which mines Moreno [XMR] from using site visitors’ PCs. A study estimates that CoinHive mines over $250,000 worth of XMR every month.
Acceptable PC Cloud Mining
However, not all PC mining done using CoinHive is done illegally. The software is only being abused by black hat hackers. UNICEF, for instance, created a website “The Hope Page” which it uses to mine Moreno for its humanitarian activities using the CoinHive API.