Monero News: The Attacks Begin

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The attacks begin on Monero! The most private digital cash currency.

On June 24, security experts from Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 warned about a new self-propagating malware that launches cryptojacking and DDoS attacks against Windows systems. The software operates under the name “Lucifer”.

According to the study, Lucifer is a hybrid of cryptojacking and DDoS malware that leverages old vulnerabilities on the Windows platform.

Vulnerabilities exploited
After breaking the security infrastructure, attackers execute commands that release DDoS attacks. This allows them to install XMRig Miner, a well-known Monero (XMR) mining app, to launch cryptojacking attacks.

Palo Alto Networks claims that a related Monero wallet has received 0.493527 XMR so far. That converts to approximately $32 as of press time.

Preventing this “diabolical” attack
The researches behind the study provided some recommendations to avoid Lucifer’s malware:

“Applying the updates and patches to the affected software are strongly advised. The vulnerable software includes Rejetto HTTP File Server, Jenkins, Oracle Weblogic, Drupal, Apache Struts, Laravel framework, and Microsoft Windows. Strong passwords are also encouraged to prevent dictionary attacks.”

Recent reports revealed that a group of hackers behind the Kingminer botnet targeted vulnerable Microsoft SQL server databases to mine Monero at some point in the second week of June.

Cointelegraph recently reported on an attack which hijacks machine learning clusters on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing network to mine Monero.

The terrorist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is beginning to switch to Monero (XMR) to accept donations from the public.

As reported by blockchain intelligence company, Whitestream, and independently confirmed by Cointelegraph, a news website affiliated with the terrorist organization and the jihadist movement has updated its donations page on June 21 to only accept Monero.

According to the tutorial page published by the website, Monero is a more secure method of payment that cannot be traced. The page then explains how users can buy and send Monero, while including the XMR address.

Previously, the website accepted Bitcoin (BTC) donations since December 2017. According to Whitestream, the organization consolidated the BTC it received into a single address, which currently contains 0.295 BTC worth about $2,700.

The website posts news on the reported “successes” of the organization, which since its ousting from Syria, Iraq and Libya has primarily been operating underground in Egypt’s Sinai region and in Northern Nigeria.

Cryptocurrency still not the preferred method
While many of the regulatory steps taken for cryptocurrencies seek to curtail this exact type of activity, a recent report by Chainalysis debunks the commonly held belief that cryptocurrencies play a significant role in terrorism financing. Amid speculation of ISIS war chests hidden in Bitcoin, Chainalysis said that less than $10,000 were raised for terrorism through crypto, while it is also unlikely that they used cryptocurrencies to store their oil sale proceeds.

In March, a woman was sentenced to 13 years in prison after laundering money for terrorism via Bitcoin, though it is unclear whether the authorities relied on blockchain analysis to catch her.

In December 2019, ISIS reportedly experimented with switching to blockchain-based communication apps.
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