Make-A-Wish-Foundation Website Infected with Crypto Mining Malware

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Cybercriminals have targeted the site of one of the most popular children’s foundations in the world and infected it with crypto mining malware.

In a report Published this week by researchers from security firm Trustwave, a CoinImp crypto mining script was injected into the Make-A-Wish Foundation website and that this script used the computing the power of visitor’s to mine cryptocurrencies for the hackers.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation site is built on Drupal, a popular open-source content management system. Earlier this year, Drupal announced that there had been a vulnerability in their software that allowed hackers to inject malicious code into specific sites that had not incorporated their security patch. Trustwave researchers believe the Make-A-Wish Foundation website might have been compromised through the same vulnerability. The foundation subsequently identified and removed the malicious script in question.

Cryptojacking, which involves the use of malicious code to force other computer users to mine cryptocurrencies without their knowledge, has become a near-epidemic for internet users.

A Citrix report revealed that a crypto jacking malware had hit at least 59% of UK companies at some point.

In India, crypto jacking is a menace, with over 300,000 routers in Brazil and India found to have been injected with crypto mining malware. The Economic Times (ET) revealed in September that Indian government websites had not been spared from this phenomenon, stating that widely trusted Indian portals had been exploited by the crypto jacking menace.

According to a security researcher quoted by ET, government websites were targeted due to the high number of online visitors and the trust these visitors have when they visit them.

“A lot of government websites are getting hacked. Now, crypto jacking is more fashionable as the hacker can make money.”

Internet security provider McAfee Labs weighed in on the epidemic last week, warning users of a new crypto jacking malware called “WebCobra,” which it said can operate without a trace on a victim’s computer.

The researchers went on to state:

“The malware increases power consumption causing the machine to slow down, leaving the owner with a headache and an unwelcome bill.”

Like any other sphere, the crypto industry has its own idols, the people that are the backbone of the digital asset world, the people that make it to the hottest headlines and sometimes take part in the loudest scandals. Nevertheless, the industry would not function properly without these bright figures.

Clovr conducted a research and surveyed 500 people who are involved in the cryptocurrency world. The crypto enthusiasts were asked who they found the most influential figures in the industry, whose predictions and advice they followed the most.

Let’s find out who made it to the top of the most influential crypto personalities.

 

  1. John McAfee. This might not come as a surprise for most people. Dubbed “King of the Jungle” John McAfee is undoubtedly the king of crypto with his loud statements, eccentric lifestyle and ambitious plans.

 

  1. Vitalik Buterin. The father of Ethereum and a mastermind of digital currencies. His great contribution to the development of the crypto industry is absolutely undoubtful.

 

  1. Charlie Lee. The father of Litecoin, one of the leading altcoins on the market. His predictions and analyses of cryptocurrency makes his opinion especially valuable for those following him.

Some other major figures which became the part of the rating include the Winklevoss twins (the owners of Gemini), Roger Ver (a crypto evangelist), Andreas Antonopoulos (a famous author on crypto topics) and others.

Hopefully, these crypto stars will shine for a long long time and come out with a number of new exciting things in the future.

 

#cryptocurrencynews  #John Mcafee #Vitalik Buterin

The past week has seen the cryptocurrency bear market thrive on its position with prices plummeting to their lowest since October 2017. In August 2018, Bitcoin prices had started the downward freefall with prices threatening to hit below the $5,000 mark, and they eventually did in November. Cryptocoinjunky has posted articles on the reasons behind the Bitcoin crash which had been highly anticipated due to the splitting up of Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC.

Back in August, cryptocurrency experts were markedly optimistic about Bitcoin prices recovery. Meltem Demoirs of CoinShare actually compared Bitcoin to internet stock prices. According to him, new technologies that capture the attention of many usually tend to face incredibly challenges severally before being fully utilized and prospering. He envisioned crypto technology as such an invention.  

Expert analysis

Since Bitcoin took off in 2009, cryptocurrencies have made significant strides in the digital currency world. But the question still lingers on the worth of digital assets investments in the future. Let us have a look at a few comments and market predictions from crypto experts on the current cryptocurrencies state.

Bitmex’s crypto expert Arthur Hayes believes that Bitcoin prices will hit $50,000 by the end of the year. This is despite the severe plummet of prices across the board that has been experienced in the last few months.

A sitting panel put together by investment company Finder analyzed the top performing coins by market cap. The predictions were set on an overview of 2018/2019 market price analysis.

  • Bitcoin (BTC),
  • Ether (ETH),
  • XRP (XRP),
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH),
  • EOS (EOS),
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM),
  • Litecoin (LTC),
  • Cardano (ADA),
  • Monero (XMR) and
  • TRON (TRX)

In summary, the panel was optimistic that XRP, ETH, and EOS will increase in value by almost 200% by the end of 2019. Bitcoin will follow suit by an increase of 177% and Bitcoin cash by 77%.

Jeet Singh boldly compared crypto to Apple and Microsoft stating that it is completely normal that cryptocurrencies fluctuate by 70-80%. The volatile market may be unappealing to most investors but according to the investment portfolio manager, the more stable business models and crypto technology becomes, the more confidence it should inspire. Is he right? Is it a short term or long term prediction?

Kristjan Dekleva, a Swiss-based financial analyst and asset investment expert seems to see the future in crypto will be a long time coming; a decade, but will surely be worthwhile. He seems to echo the sentiments by Meltem Demoirs as far as cryptocurrency market stability is concerned. According to him, crypto downfalls have ‘been caused by emotions and misinformation where small rumors have a big impact.’

Kenneth Rogoff shades the sentiments of Kristjan and says that the price of Bitcoin will be worth $100 in ten years. Rogoff based his argument on the regulation of cryptocurrencies that he is sure will cause the market to plummet. In his expert opinion, governments and regulatory bodies hardly seem to grasp the technology behind digital assets and for this reason, the market will be hard hit as financial bodies come up and design regulatory frameworks regarding crypto transactions.

Gemini co-founder, Cameron Winklevoss is also optimistic, although on the drawn outside of things. He is sure that the price of Bitcoin could go up by 40%, in a decade or so. He also stated that the crypto market is highly underappreciated and it is one of the reasons why the market is so volatile.

Bobby Lee, co-founder of BTCC made a lauding comment on twitter regarding the value of Bitcoin compared to that of gold. On November 20th, 2018, he tweeted that Bitcoin is currently 1/8 the value of gold. He predicts that Bitcoin’s ‘rise to the top’ will not come easy but is definitely an outcome to look forward to. Only ‘true believers’ will survive to reap exceedingly great profits from Bitcoin after the bear season subsides.

John McAfee, the ever bullish supporter of Bitcoin came out hard on panic sellers today and asked them to relax or just get out of the market altogether. His tweet is unprintable (the cursing alone) but he has a point. According to him, the cycle of investment markets is always the same. Cyclical. It has ups and downs; at times the down being brutal and it does not help that investors are panicking. ‘Bear markets are like winter, it’s always followed by a glorious spring.’ He points the recent crash on fear, ignorance, misinformation, and uncertainty.

Conclusion                                                                              

With the sentiments above and numerous others not posted, I think it is safe to say that yes, indeed the market is notoriously volatile, unpredictable, but not uncertain. Bitcoin prices will rise. For one, the crypto market is in constant expansion. For example, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are developing a cryptocurrency that will be launched mid-2019. Intercontinental Exchange, owner of the NY stock exchange has plans underway to open a Bitcoin futures product, the Bakkt Bitcoin Daily Futures Contract, which will be launched in early 2019.

Cryptocurrency regulation will aid the digital assets market to stabilize, even though short term, it will and is currently causing prices to drop (refer to recent developments in South Korea and China).

Francesco Fusetti CEO of AidCoin stated today that the drop in prices is actually beneficial to the market as it weeds out weak performers and strengthens knowledge of digital assets trading. Bitcoin has been the top performing coin in blockchain technology since its inception and has set a standard for virtual currencies.

Earlier this week, the Monero (XMR) community announced the launch of a new website that aims to educate users on cleaning up crypto-jacking malware and ransomware.

Easing Malware Victims’ Confusion and Frustration

The ease of mining and privacy of Monero are standout features for the coin. However, the features attract bad actors who use the coin in malware.

Justin Ehrenhofer, the director of the Malware Response Workgroup, stated that two main factors make XMR attractive to hackers:

“Attackers like Monero for two reasons: 1) it is private, so they do not need to worry about companies and law enforcement tracing what they do with the Monero after they mine it, and 2) Monero uses a Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm that is CPU and GPU-friendly; thus, the infected machines are competitive. These two components are increasingly distinguishing factors for why attackers choose to mine Monero over other cryptocurrencies.”

The capability to use cryptocurrency in malware is not unique to Monero. Bitcoin and other digital currencies have been used in the same attacks described above, but XMR has privacy features that make it stand out.

Asked what led to the creation of the working group, Ehrenhofer said, “We created this workgroup to help the victims of these mining/ransomware attacks, who often have no idea what Monero, mining, and cryptocurrencies are… the increased prevalence of Monero-related malware prompted the formation of the workgroup.”

The new Malware Response website seeks to inform visitors on the ways to prevent and remove malware. As stated, it’s expected that visitors will land on the site frustrated and seeking answers, since most do not understand what is happening.

In addition to discovering if XMR-based malware is running on your computer, the site includes remedies for the three types of attacks that are used: browser-based mining scripts, system/PC based malware, and ransomware.

Cleaning Unwanted Cryptojacking Scripts

Bitcoin Theft

Scripts to mine Monero in the browser are occasionally deployed as an opt-in service as a way for visitors to fund websites. Slate.com briefly added crypto mining as an option for visitors instead of advertisements. If readers opted-in, their browsers would mine XMR with their computers’ resources while they browsed the site.

However, attackers can also inject mining scripts into vulnerable websites without the webmaster or visitors knowing, which is known as “cryptojacking.” McAfee labs reported that cryptojacking increased by 86% in the second quarter of 2018. Addtionally, for 2018 so far, illegal cryptojacking is up a shocking 459%, thanks largely to the leaks from the NSA’s hacking tools. Criminals then used these tools to infect computers with malware.

As the NSA (and Microsoft) have already admitted blame for the blunder, one would think they would be the entities creating an educational site like Monero’s.

Monero Community Is Firmly Against Malware

As cryptojacking attacks are new to webmasters/internet users and sometimes sophisticated, education is a key role in quickly discovering and responding to security breaches.

The Monero technology and community do not condone of any malicious activities that Monero is used in, as Ehrenhofer made clear.

“Monero itself and the community aren’t attacking computers, but the computers are attacked with some vulnerability and the attacker decides to run mining software on the compromised machines,” he said.

Syndicated from CCN

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