Computers across Europe have been attacked by hackers

Computers across Europe have been attacked by hackers

By Aristos | cryptobot | 18 May 2020


Computers across Europe have been compromised by an unknown group that introduced cryptocurrency mining software.

At least a dozen supercomputers have been targeted in Germany , the United Kingdom , Switzerland and Spain , with many being offline as a result of the violations. The first target system is believed to be " Archer" , a supercomputer at the University of Edinburgh used to analyze coronary control research before it went out of business.

The attacks have resulted in access to supercomputers stealing credentials from connected networks at universities in China and Poland . According to Cado Security , it is common for users of different high-performance computing facilities to have connections from other institutions, which facilitates access for intruders.

 

In two security incidents, the team behind the attacks linked to supercomputers used a hacked SSH account and then exploited a vulnerability in the Linux kernel to gain access and install Monero or XMR cryptocurrency mining software . The cryptocurrency mining software was configured to only work at night to prevent it from being discovered.

A warning from the Swiss Center for Scientific Computing in Zurich was more vague, referring only to malicious activity that resulted in the closure of external access to the center until security issues were resolved.

The real motive behind the attacks remains unknown. Although the profit from installing a cryptocurrency mining program seems to be the most obvious reason, most of the systems affected were involved in COVID-19 research and analysis. Access to this research could also be the motive, but if it was just a coincidence, then it was certainly unfortunate, as the attacks stopped the pandemic investigation.

 

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