The latest reports show that Hackers take over computers to process Monero since we have seen some of the most widespread attacks on supercomputers in Europe over the past week. In our Monero news today, we can see that the hackers are deploying digital currency processing malware and were first of their kind to spike research activities in the UK, Spain, and Germany.
The security researchers traced the attacks to the compromised networks in China. The first report of the attack came right from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland which runs the ARCHER supercomputers. The status report launched on May 11, the institution noticed security exploitation during the login nodes and decided to disable the access to the supercomputer altogether as it investigated the intrusion. At the time of writing, ARCHER will be unavailable as the university stated that it could resume services later this week.
Similar instances were reported in other parts of Europe. In Germany, bwHPC which is an organization responsible for coordinating the research projects across supercomputers reported that five computers were shut down while others included the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and the Technical University of Dresden and the Swiss Center Scientific Computations. The institutions didn’t say much about the malware but the European Grid Infrastructure released the malware samples to security researchers.
According to the EGI, the attackers started the attacks from the universities in China and one all the way in Poland. The hackers were granted access to supercomputers through compromised secure shell credentials. Once the hackers took over the system, they would deploy an application that processed the privacy coin Monero. This is a first that hackers have taken over supercomputers processed digital currencies and it couldn’t have happened at a worse time.
Most of the supercomputers were under attacked and were running simulations aimed at Covid-19 researchers and most of them haven’t recovered yet and are dealing with a blow to the coronavirus research efforts. The hackers haven’t taken over the supercomputers to process digital currencies in the past and there were some examples when employees installed the digital currency processors themselves. Russia even arrested a nuclear scientist for three years in late 2019 because he processed digital currencies using the supercomputers of the facility. The scientist was working at the All Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics.
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