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Detecting Bitcoin Mining Traffic

Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Landscape

Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Landscape

During 2017, the cryptocurrency market grew nearly 20-fold, reportedly increasing from approximately $18 billion to more than $600 billion (USD). Those gains amplified threat actors interest in accessing the computing resources of compromised systems to mine cryptocurrency. Secureworks incident response (IR) analysts responded to multiple incidents of unauthorized cryptocurrency mining in 2017, and network and host telemetry showed a proliferation of this threat across Secureworks managed security service clients. Financially motivated threat actors will continue to use malware infections to deploy cryptocurrency mining software for as long as it remains profitable. Compared to complete loss of availability caused by ransomware and loss of confidentiality caused by banking trojans or other information stealers, the impact of unauthorized cryptocurrency mining on a host is often viewed as more of a nuisance. However, the cumulative effect of large-scale unauthorized cryptocurrency mining in an enterprise environment can be significant as it consumes computational resources and forces business-critical assets to slow down or stop functioning effectively. Furthermore, the deployment and persistence of unauthorized cryptocurrency mining software in an environment reflects a breakdown of effective technical controls. If activity of this nature can become established and spread laterally within the environment, then more immediately harmful threats such as ransomware could as well. The technical controls used to mitigate the delivery, persistence, and propagation of unauthorized cryptocurrency miners are also highly effective against other types of threat. This threat can have a significant impact. If critical and high-availability assets are infected with cryptocurrency min Continue reading >>

How Azure Security Center Detects A Bitcoin Mining Attack

How Azure Security Center Detects A Bitcoin Mining Attack

How Azure Security Center detects a Bitcoin mining attack Jessen Kurien Cloud Security Investigations & Intelligence, Microsoft Azure Security Azure Security Center helps customers deal with myriads of threats using advanced analytics backed by global threat intelligence. In addition, a team of security researchers often work directly with customers to gain insight into security incidents affecting Microsoft Azure customers, with the goal of constantly improving Security Center detection and alerting capabilities. In the previous blog post" How Azure Security Center helps reveal a Cyberattack ", security researchers detailed the stages of one real-world attack campaign that began with a brute force attack detected by Security Center and the steps taken to investigate and remediate the attack. In this post, well focus on an Azure Security Center detection that led researchers to discover a ring of mining activity, which made use of a well-known bitcoin mining algorithm named Cryptonight. Before we get into the details, lets quickly explain some terms that youll see throughout this blog. Bitcoin Miners are a special class of software that use mining algorithms to generate or mine bitcoins, which are a form of digital currency. Mining software is often flagged as malicious because it hijacks system hardware resources like the Central Processing Unit (CPU) or Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) as well as network bandwidth of an affected host. Cryptonight is one such mining algorithm which relies specifically on the hosts CPU. In our investigations, weve seen bitcoin miners installed through a variety of techniques including malicious downloads, emails with malicious links, attachments downloaded by already-installed malware, peer to peer file sharing networks, and through crac Continue reading >>

Analyzing Bitcoin Network Traffic Using Wireshark

Analyzing Bitcoin Network Traffic Using Wireshark

Since Bitcoin is a peer to peer protocol it relies very heavily on network communication to perform its functions. The best way to get a closer look at the Bitcoin protocol is to use a packet sniffer such as Wireshark to view the frames traversing the network. Bitcoin clients available but they all rely on the same underlying protocol. My local client of choice is the Bitcoin-Qt client but Wireshark can decode the traffic regardless of which client is in use. Fully synchronized clients do not generate a large amount of network traffic but unsyncronized clients that do not have a complete copy of the Bitcoin blockchain can create a substantial amount of network traffic. Currently the entire blockchain is nearly 9GB in size and continues to grow. Once the client has cached a local copy of the blockchain they will stay up to date using the getblocks message type. The current stable version of Wireshark (1.8.7) does not have support for the Bitcoin protocol so you will need to download the development release to decode the packets. The current public version of the development release is version 1.10.0rc2 which contains a dissector for Bitcoin. The Bitcoin protocol dissector still has some issues and doesnt properly decode all of the traffic though. Based on the notes I read in the packet-bitcoin.c source file the protocol dissector was written by Christian Svensson (contact info below). If you send him a note (and maybe a bitcoin tip) he might be able to provide further support and update the decoder. Bitcoin address: 15Y2EN5mLnsTt3CZBfgpnZR5SeLwu7WEHz I also complied the most recent development release (1.11) from the source tree but I found that the Bitcoin dissector was not functioning properly. Some messages were decoded without issues but some were listed as malforme Continue reading >>

How To Detect And Prevent Crypto Mining Malware

How To Detect And Prevent Crypto Mining Malware

How to detect and prevent crypto mining malware Hackers are placing crypto mining software on devices, networks, and websites at an alarming rate. These tools can help spot it before it does great harm. Use commas to separate multiple email addresses [ Learn how new cryptocurrencies offer better anonymity, new security challenges . | Sign up for CSO newsletters . ] Enterprises are very much on the lookout for any signs of critical data being stolen or encrypted in a ransomware attack. Cryptojacking is stealthier, and it can be hard for companies to detect. The damage it causes is real but isn't always obvious. The damage can have an immediate financial impact if the crypto mining software infects cloud infrastructure or drives up the electric bill. It can also hurt productivity and performance by slowing down machines. "With CPUs that are not specifically made for crypto mining, it could be detrimental to your hardware," says Carles Lopez-Penalver, intelligence analyst at Flashpoint. "They can burn out or run more slowly." Cryptojacking is in the early stages, he added. If a company spots one type of attack, there are four or five others that will get by. "If there's something that could potentially stop crypto miners, it would be something like a well-trained neural network," Lopez-Penalver says. That's just what some security vendors are doing using machine learning and other artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to spot the behaviors that indicate crypto mining, even if that particular attack has never been seen before. Many vendors are working at detecting crypto mining activity at the network level. "Detection [at the endpoint] right now is very tricky," says Alex Vaystikh, CTO at SecBI Ltd. "It can be on anything from mobile devices to IoT to laptops and desk Continue reading >>

Browser-based Cryptocurrency Mining Makes Unexpected Return From The Dead

Browser-based Cryptocurrency Mining Makes Unexpected Return From The Dead

Browser-Based Cryptocurrency Mining Makes Unexpected Return from the Dead Once thought of as dead, browser-based cryptocurrency mining makes an unlikely return, coming back to haunt websites and their visitors. Browser-based cryptocurrency mining activity exploded in the last few months of 2017. After many years of deathly silence, the catalyst appears to be the launch of a new browser-based mining service in September by Coinhive. This service wraps everything up nicely in an easy-to-use package for website owners and has injected new life into an idea that was long thought of as dead and buried. Browser-based cryptocurrency mining is not new;it's been around since at least 2011. A surge in the cryptocurrency market in 2017, as well as availability of coins that are mineable using home hardware and easy-to-use JavaScript APIs, has led to a torrent of malicious browser-based mining affecting many well-known and lesser-known websites. Mobile devices have not been spared from cryptocurrency mining, as witnessed by a 34 percent increase in the number of mobile apps incorporating cryptocurrency mining code. Browser-based mining, as its name suggests, is a method of cryptocurrency mining that happens inside a browser and is implemented using scripting language. This is different compared to the more widely known file-based cryptocurrency mining approach which involves downloading and running a dedicated executable file. Browser-based mining dates back to May of 2011 when an innovative service called BitcoinPlus.com was initially launched back when Bitcoin was cheap and mining was easynot to be confused with another cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin Plus.org (XBC). That service was in many ways remarkably similar to its modern reincarnation, Coinhive. It used JavaScript code f Continue reading >>

Is It Possible To Detect Litecoin Mining With Network Traffic Analysis?

Is It Possible To Detect Litecoin Mining With Network Traffic Analysis?

Is it possible to detect litecoin mining with network traffic analysis? Im started to work in company that deals with information security and in Friday we got a task: in one bank one of sysadmins think that someone is mining litecoin in worktime. We have several IDS at this bank (systems that catch all of network traffic) and we can only use analysis of this traffic. We ran the litecoin miner with pool ( coinotron.com ) and catch some traffic it generated. Thats some screenshots from Wireshark: Its looks like very chaotic traffic with pool of ips, some of them is a Tor nodes. Can someone help me and explain whats traffic generated by litecoin miner? yessomeone it looks like someone could be mining litecoin and maybe even using every ip on the servernot that sure about that thoughyou could just be seeing either the peers connected to a personal wallet someone has that is using the internet connection port 9333 (by default) is the getwork/stratum port for litecoins blockchain (however other programs can use this port as well, bitcoin uses 8333 by default) but it also uses that port to connect to peers for updated chain information so that is where the requests for block information go to and they are sent from the closest server back to the address who requested the work however there are no responses for accepted or rejected packets so it looks to me like someone syncing a wallet or just downloading the blockchain (also syncing a wallet) (which is why you see pooled address and tor address)hope this helpstell them to buy their own equipment to rent a server like everyone else if you do catch someone breaking the rules Well, i found solution)) while mining, the cpuminer takes a JSON over the TCP (see on pic). So only one filter for this JSON (special for method: mining_ Continue reading >>

Can Bitcoin Mining Be Detected?

Can Bitcoin Mining Be Detected?

Founded in the year 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is an open-source digital decentralized cryptocurrency. The process of adding transactions or block on a public distributed ledger (blockchain) is called Bitcoin mining. To detect Bitcoin mining, you can watch out for traffic patterns; however there is considerable crossover in between the miners that are mining Bitcoins. Miners who know that how Bitcoin mining works can go to extreme in order to secure their identity. Ultimately, it means that detection of Bitcoin mining on the network is not possible. Though, a plenty of bandwidth is not used to make Bitcoin mining hard. GPU and CPU usage cant be hided. If you have an access to mining machine through SNMP, then you can look for CPU spikes or use Get-Process PowerShell cmdlet next to the mining machines on the same network. In case of GPU, mining usage cant be monitored until withdrawn power is known. Packet Inspection The official mining protocol is getwork. A miner might create I7 filter pattern in order to mark packets. It will not be a surprise if large bandwidth devices, such as Sandvine detects getwork. However, most of the Bitcoin mining is pooled and some pools have custom clients. Mining pools make use various network protocols. In addition, mining malware might just channel via TOR and SSH to bypass such kind of strategy. AV AV products maintain digital signatures for various mining software. For instance- 1. Bitcoin servers connection will be needed. Applications have to look for source IP connection that will run the software in order to lead the system. 2. Secondly, you can put a Bitcoin miners list and with those names systems can be scanned. Continue reading >>

The Hidden Risk Of Not Detecting Bitcoin Mining

The Hidden Risk Of Not Detecting Bitcoin Mining

The Hidden Risk of Not Detecting Bitcoin Mining Posted by Mike Banic, VP of Marketing on Jun 6, 2014 8:30:00 AM On June 6th, Forbes reporter Kashmir Hill wrote about an NSF researcher who misused NSF-funded supercomputing resources to mine Bitcoin valued between $8,000 and $10,000. The article points to a student at London Imperial College and a researcher at Harvard University who are also alleged to have used their Universitys computers to mine a similar virtual currency called Dogecoin. As a CISO, your first reaction might be that inappropriate uses of your organizations resources should be stopped, but this is probably not your highest priority. Someone using your computer(s) and network to mine virtual currency is a bit like someone charging his or her electric car from a power outlet on your home. Yes, they are using your electricity without permission or reimbursing you. However, they arent stealing something of high value and threatening your life or livelihood. Still, this is something we probably want to know about and stop if we can. The typical security products used by organizations arent detecting illicit activity like virtual currency mining. Computers mining virtual currencies like Bitcoin or Dogecoin communicate over port 80 which firewalls are configured to allow through. If an organization uses an intrusion prevention system (IPS), those devices can use signature to detect virtual currency mining. However, not every organization uses an IPS and not all signatures are always enabled. Since there are thousands of signatures, security teams manage and prioritize them based on business risk to ensure IPS throughput performance. So, even if you have an IPS in your perimeter defenses, it may not be configured to find and stop virtual currency. This begs th Continue reading >>

How To Detect And Prevent Crypto Mining Malware

How To Detect And Prevent Crypto Mining Malware

I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy I would like to be notified by email of future case studies, white papers, webinars and other educational content How to Detect and Prevent Crypto Mining Malware CSO Magazine looks at how cybersecurity vendors are combating the emerging threat of crypto mining. Like any malware, endpoint protection is key, and we think that should be built in from the chip up .Samsung Insights editorial team Hackers are turning to cryptojacking infecting enterprise infrastructure with crypto mining software to have a steady, reliable, ongoing revenue stream. As a result, theyre getting very clever in hiding their malware. Enterprises are very much on the lookout for any signs of critical data being stolen or encrypted in a ransomware attack. Cryptojacking is stealthier, and it can be hard for companies to detect. The damage it causes is real but isnt always obvious. The damage can have an immediate financial impact if the crypto mining software infects cloud infrastructure or drives up the electric bill. It can also hurt productivity and performance by slowing down machines. With CPUs that are not specifically made for crypto mining, it could be detrimental to your hardware, says Carles Lopez-Penalver, intelligence analyst at Flashpoint. They can burn out or run more slowly. Cryptojacking is in the early stages, he added. If a company spots one type of attack, there are four or five others that will get by. If theres something that could potentially stop crypto miners, it would be something like a well-trained neural network, Lopez-Penalver says. Thats just what some security vendors are doing using machine learning and other artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to spot the behaviors that indicate crypto mining, even if that particular a Continue reading >>

Detect Web Cryptocurrency Mining With Flowmon

Detect Web Cryptocurrency Mining With Flowmon

Blog Detect Web Cryptocurrency Mining With Flowmon Detect Web Cryptocurrency Mining With Flowmon 13/12/17 Anomaly detection , Security , Network Visibility Do the browsers that your business use support JavaScript? Well, it is truly hard to imagine that somebody exists on the Internet without this feature. Then computers in your network may be potentially affected by the newest cryptojacking threat and mine money for somebody youve never met. When the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is rising quickly, attackers have invented a new threat in order to profit from the boom. So now we are facing a new type of threat when malicious pages try to steal computing capacity from our computers. It is unbelievable but with growing cryptocurrency value, it makes a sense to install JavaScript on pages which will run on many computers and mine cryptocurrency. It is quite a good example of how cybercriminals are able to monetize nearly anything, isnt it? It is so trendy and finally so easy to install and setup the script on the page and wait for the profit. Who cares about overloaded computers when processors working for hundred percent? Just imagine your frustration when you are unable to work with a computer with amazing power, can't send an email or open excel sheet in reasonable time because... it is working for someone else. This type of business is so attractive that cryptocurrency mining is available as a service. For example Coinhive , a browser-based cryptocurrency JavaScript miner for the Monero Blockchain. Dont be surprised that it looks like legal page and activity. Flowmon can now detect the harmful communication as we developed special detection for this purpose. The new behavioural pattern is distributed automatically to customers Flowmon collectors which wi Continue reading >>

5 Easy Ways To Block Cryptocurrency Mining In Your Web Browser

5 Easy Ways To Block Cryptocurrency Mining In Your Web Browser

5 Easy Ways To Block Cryptocurrency Mining In Your Web Browser Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies that make use of encryption for security. As they are anonymous and decentralized in nature, one can use them for making payments that cant be tracked by governments. As crypto-mining has gained popularity, the website owners are now using cryptocurrency mining scripts to use the CPU power of the visitors for earning profits. This has also inspired somedevelopers to come up with methods toblock cryptocurrency mining in the web browser via different methods. The Pirate Bay, the worlds most popular torrent website, was recently spotted testing a Monero cryptocurrency miner on their websites. The website confessed that it could be using coin mining in future to keep the website running. This was followed by some other reports of similar nature. This practice isnt new, but the Pirate Bay was the first popular website that was seen using a cryptocurrency miner. This has also fueled the ethics debate as the website owners are found to be keeping the visitors in the dark. However, I was surprised to notice that many users who commented on the article and Facebook didnt mind their favorite website using their CPU power to earn revenue. This could be due to the fact that torrent websites are home to tons of notorious advertising. Before going ahead and telling you how to block cryptocurrency mining in web browser, let me tell you how to find out if youre already becoming a target of such mining activities How to find out if my PC is secretly mining cryptocurrency? Apart from ransomware, bitcoin mining malware are rising in popularity at an exponential rate. In case the culprit is some website which is using your web browser to mine crypto coins, you can find that ou Continue reading >>

Crypto Miners Spreading Via Cve-2017-0144 Smbv1 Vulnerability

Crypto Miners Spreading Via Cve-2017-0144 Smbv1 Vulnerability

8 February 2018 Ransomware Detection , Network Security Monitoring , NetFort Blog By: Darragh Delaney During 2017 we saw advances in security tools which have meant IT and network security managers have become better equipped to deal with ransomware threats. In addition, lots of standalone programs have been made by independent researchers to decrypt files. This increased awareness of ransomware prevention (backing up files) and Ransomware detection tools has really helped to reduce the Ransomware problem. Bitcoin is frequently associated with Ransomware as it is a popular payment type demanded by ransomware authors. There are many types of crypto currency available today which you can acquire with money or goods or you can mine them using one or more computers. The primary purpose of mining is to allow Bitcoin nodes to reach a secure, tamper-resistant consensus. Mining is also the mechanism used to introduce Bitcoins into the system: Miners are paid any transaction fees as well as a subsidy of newly created coins. The image below shows an example of a large bitcoin mining rig, lots of processing power and associated cooling fans to keep it operational. One of the new trends with Malware is the move away from data encryption to a more stealthy bitcoin mining strategy. Bitcoin mining can happen in the background. No need for any splash screens or data destruction. Crypto Mining Malware & Association With SMBv1 Many attackers now favor anonymous cryptocurrencies, with Monero being the most prominent. Crypto currencies are popular as they are both secure, private and difficult to trace. Servers are often targeted and since many of them are not updated or patched on a regular basis, attackers have a bigger chance of success. Recently more than 526,000 Windows hosts, mostly Continue reading >>

Security 101: The Impact Of Cryptocurrency-mining Malware

Security 101: The Impact Of Cryptocurrency-mining Malware

Security 101: The Impact of Cryptocurrency-Mining Malware Security 101: The Impact of Cryptocurrency-Mining Malware The Australian government has just recognized digital currency as a legal payment method. Since July 1, purchases done using digital currencies such as bitcoin are exempt from the country's Goods and Services Tax to avoid double taxation. As such, traders and investors will not be levied taxes for buying and selling them through legal exchange platforms. Japan, which legitimized bitcoin as a form of payment last April, already expects more than 20,000 merchants to accept bitcoin payments. Other countries are joining the bandwagon, albeit partially: businesses and some of the public organizations in Switzerland, Norway , and the Netherlands . In a recent study , unique, active users of cryptocurrency wallets are pegged between 2.9 and 5.8 million, most of which are in North America and Europe. But what does the acceptance and adoption of digital currencies have to do with online threats? A lot, actually. As cryptocurrencies like bitcoin gain real-world traction, so will cybercriminal threats that abuse it. But how, exactly? What does this mean to businesses and everyday users? Cryptocurrency is an encrypted data string that denotes a unit of currency. It is monitored and organized by a peer-to-peer network also known as a blockchain, which also serves as a secure ledger of transactions, e.g., buying, selling, and transferring. Unlike physical money, cryptocurrencies are decentralized, which means they are not issued by governments or other financial institutions. Cryptocurrencies are created (and secured) through cryptographic algorithms that are maintained and confirmed in a process called mining, where a network of computers or specialized hardware such Continue reading >>

Identifying Illicit Bitcoin Miners In Your Network

Identifying Illicit Bitcoin Miners In Your Network

Identifying Illicit Bitcoin Miners in Your Network One of our customers found that one individual had been running for months an illicit Bitcoin mining operation that pumped his employers electricity bill to pocket some Bitcoin. This post explains how Talaia was able to flag this activity (and how it can do the same for you). Bitcoin is an exciting technology. In a nutshell, it is a form of internet money that runs on a peer-to-peer network with no central authority. It allows any person or organization to receive direct payments over the Internet, skipping any middle men. Bitcoin MiningBitcoin is widely perceived to be a disruptive technology that can some day compete with other forms of payment. For example, it could one day replace Paypal or credit card s. Bitcoin has experienced a meteoric rise in both attention and value. It has multiplied its value by ~600 in the last four years (as of this writing), and is now thriving. It is estimated that Venture Capital firms will invest a cool $300 million on Bitcoin centric startups in 2014. Arguably, the most widely misunderstood aspect of Bitcoin is mining. Bitcoin is hard to grasp, and some aspects of it seem almost magical, especially for those who do not have a background in Computer Science and cryptography. There are many resources that explain Bitcoin mining better than I would mange to (check for example this video ). But let me give a very simplified view in this post. In essence, a Bitcoin miner contributes computing power to the network by performing a huge number of calculations. The more aggregate computing power that Bitcoin miners contribute, the more secure Bitcoin becomes. But computing power does not come for free: it requires high-end hardware that is power hungry. To offset these costs, Bitcoin rewards Continue reading >>

How Can I Tell If My Computer Is Secretly Mining Cryptocurrency? Quartz

How Can I Tell If My Computer Is Secretly Mining Cryptocurrency? Quartz

Your computer could be secretly mining cryptocurrencypiggybacking on your computers processing power to confirm transactions and generate new and potentially lucrative coinsand you wouldnt even be profiting from it. Incidents of malware containing crypto-mining tools have surged six-fold this year, according to IBM Managed Security Services . Heres how to find out if youve been unwittingly committing your computing power to enrich someone else. Open a resource monitor on your computer to check if CPU usage is abnormally high. On a Mac thats Activity Monitor, and on Windows its Task Manager. If you see a spike in CPU usage when visiting a particular website that shouldnt really be that taxing on your processor; or if you have everything closed but CPU usage is still super high, then you may have a crypto mining malware problem. Its hard to say what normal CPU usage looks like, since computer processing power and the applications people run vary so much , but a suddenly elevated level of CPU usage would indicate an abnormal increase in demand for processing power. Suddenly elevated CPU usage could indicate malware is mining cryptocurrency through your browser. (Matthieu Faou/ESET) Your computer can be hijacked for mining by visiting a particular website or having an infected advertisement displayed in it, as researchers at security software vendor ESET have detailed . If thats the case, once you leave that website or close the tab, the mining stops. For more peace of mind, you can also block Javascript from running on a site known to be infected by simply using the default privacy and content controls in your browser. Ad-blocking software can also filter out known types of in-browser miners. One such mining script is called Coin Hive, which isnt necessarily malware. It c Continue reading >>

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