Thief With Insider Network Access Hijacks Traffic to Steal Cryptocoins
A rogue insider, or hacker with insider access, used a basic Internet routing protocol to hijack the efforts of cryptocurrency miners to steal more than $80,000 worth of Bitcoin, Dogecoin and other digital currencies.A digital thief used insider access to a Canadian Internet service provider's network to hijack the efforts of at least 51 cryptocurrency mining groups and stole the payouts from individual miners who participated in the pools, according to a report by managed security service Dell Secureworks. The attack, which started with initial tests in early February and lasted about four months, redirected machines conducting mining to cyber-criminal-owned mining pools, essentially stealing individuals' efforts and profiting from their computers' work. The operation netted at least $83,000 for the thief, or thieves, behind the operation, Secureworks stated in an analysis of the attack. Cryptocurrency mining involves intensive calculations that require enormous computing resources, so miners of Bitcoins, Dogecoins and other such currencies have pooled their resources to do the calculations and receive a portion of the digital coins paid out based on their level of contribution. But on March 22, a number of miners started complaining that they were not getting any funds. "People were noticing that their payouts [were] not happening that day," Stewart said. "But not everyone monitors their payouts, so it went unnoticed for a while."
The key to the attack involved sending out updates to the Internet infrastructure using the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which Internet service providers use to advertise the best route to systems in their network.