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Aditya Birla Group suffers cryptojack attack; 2000 computers used for mining Monero

First detected at an overseas subsidiary of the group a month ago, the malware spread to manufacturing and other services companies of Aditya Birla group. Monero was the currency mined.

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Aditya Birla Group, one of India’s largest conglomerates, suffered a cryptojack attack last month. In what is termed to be India’s first big cryptojacking attack, 2000 computers of various companies of the Aditya Birla’s group were targeted, reported Economic Times.

Cryptojacking, is a type of attack that lets a hacker mine cryptocurrency on the hacker’s behalf from someone else’s computer.
First detected at an overseas subsidiary of the group a month ago, the malware spread to manufacturing and other services companies of Aditya Birla group.

A person familiar with the attack told ET, that the hacker’s intent isn’t to steal information, rather use the power supply of the organization to mine crypto.

“Recently, the advance threat detection systems of our Group alerted us of suspicious activity on some desktop systems. Based on this, our internal team immediately carried out an investigation and deployed countermeasures to isolate and eliminate the cause of this activity. This has resulted in limiting its spread. We also ascertained that there was no data loss due to this activity,” a spokesperson of the group told ET.

Monero was the currency mined in the attack. Monero, is considered the best virtual currency as it is quite untraceable. It is a favorite among the dark web users as it caters to the privacy-centric users, who love anonymity. Also, Monero requires lesser computational power to mine, as compared to Bitcoin.

Symptoms that you are victim to cryptojack attack

1.    Your CPU usage is exceptionally high. Noticing a spike in the CPU usage while doing an activity that doesn’t require that much of the computational power, is a symptom of a cryptojack attack. You can check it on Activity Monitor on Mac and Task Manager on Windows.

2.    Sudden slowing of the machines is also an indication of the cryptojack attack.

A recent report by the security giant Symantec reveals that India stands second in the Asia-Pacific and Japan region and ninth globally when it comes to increased cryptojacking activities. Symantec’s Internet Threat Security report also revealed that the detection of coin miners on the endpoint computers increased by 8500 percent in 2017.

Though considered as a passing phase by many experts, cryptojacking is sure to wreak havoc if not contained in time, involving critical threat to your IT infrastructure.