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A Case of Malware Mining Monero (XRM) with Egyptian Telecom Service Provider

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There was a real pandemonium unleashed on the Middle Eastern internet users when it was discovered that an Egyptian telecom service provider, which is also one of the biggest telecom companies in Egypt, was taking advantage of their users by forcing them into unknowingly joining a coin hub where their computer power was being used for mining Monero without their knowledge or approval. This case is everything but ethical, and Monero is surely nor enjoying being linked to a malware mining, especially now when it is only one day far from getting a hard fork.

Monero: What exactly happened?

The malware mining case was discovered by the Citizen Lab from the University of Toronto, and they have stated that the Egyptian government is directly involved in this horribly unethical scenario.

More than 5000 users were taken advantage of in order to provide a power source for the Egyptian government that was working with one of Egypt’s largest telecom service providers. The users have been taken advantage of for mining Monero without even knowing, and as you know you get profit for getting involved in mining, so the Egyptian government was apparently trying to get rich by tricking internet users who weren’t suspecting anything.

Apparently, the telecom giant that was involved in this scam has been using a malware called AdHose. AdHose works by redirecting the internet users who gave their trust to this Egyptian telecom service provider to a virtual hub called Coinhive. Through the Coinhive, the users’ computer power and CPU were being used without them knowing for mining Monero, or alternatively for displaying adds. That way the service provider and the Egyptian government could have managed to collect a pretty flattering profit until they were discovered and traced by the Citizen Lab of Toronto.

The malware called AdHose apparently as discovered has two working modes. One of the modes is called “spray mode” and in this mode, if a user affected by this malware tries to reach any website, his or her attempt would result in having the user redirected either to a mining network called Coinhive or alternatively to an ad network.

It was discovered that back in January 2018, as discovered by a scan, that over 90% of users, which resulted in number 5700, was affected by this malware.

The second mode known to AdHose is “trickle mode”. In this mode, certain web addresses would lead affected users to two different websites as set up by the telecom service provider. One of the sites is copticpope.org, which was previously a website belonging to the pope of Coptic Orthodox Church seated in Alexandria. The other site the affected users were being directed to is Babylon-x.com, which was previously a porn site.

This malware is also said to be used for surveillance that Syria and Turkey governments performed over their citizens, that way prohibiting access to media such as Al-Jazeera, also prohibiting access to non-government organizations.

This was all made possible “thanks” to the device provided and manufactured by the company called Sandvine PocketLogic.

Sandvine, however, denies that they have the technology that would enable such operations, as well as that the report provided by Citizen Lab of Toronto, are not to be trusted as a reliable source.

Sandvine further claims that their technology has never been in contact with malware operations as well as that their product doesn’t allow the implementation of suspicious malware that would allow the Egyptian telecom service to redirect their users to the Coinhive. Although they claim that their devices do have the options of HTTP redirection, moreover they added that this feature is enabled and present in many different similar products.

Regardless of Sandvine’s claim, this technology was used for implementing spyware as indicated by Syrian and Turkey government, while it was also used from the side of the Egyptian government for unauthorized use of computer power for mining Monero.

How is Monero Doing at the Current Moment?

As Monero was expecting the launching of its hard fork that should occur tomorrow on March 14th, XMR had a pretty turbulent couple of weeks.

While Monero is said to be switched with MoneroV, where all Monero tokens would be switched with 10 MoneroV tokens, this currency had some amazing rises in its price, going over to trading around 350$ per one unit at the end of February and the beginning of March.

Things changed more than a bit, so Monero seems to be suffering from severe drops. The latest changed in price was marked by a drop of -11.06% against the dollar, which was a pretty defeating outcome for this currency.

Monero can now be bought at 251.43$ per one unit and is trading in the red. This doesn’t need to be a bad thing as this price enables investors to get their XRM at lower prices.

The things should hopefully get going upwards for Monero after the hard fork, as it usually the case that currencies get more on its monetary value after a change has been made like it is the case with hard forking.

We will be updating our subscribers as soon as we know more. For the latest on XMR, sign up below!

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.

Image courtesy of Dennis Jarvis via Flickr

Altcoins

KaratGold Proves Its Business Model By Providing Official Documents

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There has been a lot of renewed enthusiasm in the cryptocurrency market thanks mainly to Bitcoin’s strong move about 10,000.  Although Bitcoin continues to show its dominance, the altcoin market has yet to benefit from that rally.  A few of the largest altcoins remain popular but the rest of the market continues to lag behind.  In 2018, there was a lot of talk regarding a possible altcoin apocalypse where only the strong would survive.  That prediction appears to be playing out as expected.  Going forward, only the best projects that have a real world need will survive.  Crypto traders will have to spend a lot of their time doing proper research in order to find the best opportunities, just like in all financial markets.  One promising project that appears to have the makings of a future winner is KaratGold Coin.

KaratGold Background

KaratGold Coin is a cryptocurrency developed by the reputable German company Karatbars International, which maintains a leading position in the market of small gold items and investments. The project is part of a larger ecosystem, which involves several blockchain solutions that can be used for transactions, communication, investing and other tasks. During the past few weeks, however, the KaratGold ecosystem has been a target of unsavory scam allegations.  

Karatbars International and GSB Gold Standard Banking Corporation…

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Altcoins

ICTE May Bring About Sweeping Changes for Cryptocurrency Exchanges

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Cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm during the last few years. An entirely new financial market was created almost overnight which has captured the imagination of all its participants. Cryptocurrency is even starting to attract institutional money from investment banks, hedge funds, and other proprietary trading firms. Despite the rapid growth, traders remain extremely frustrated by having to deal with the fragmented nature of centralized crypto exchanges.

A Change is Needed

When cryptocurrency first began, there weren’t many participants and the trading volume was relatively insignificant. But, over time, that has radically changed. Some tokens now have a capitalization in the billions and are being traded 24-7 by institutions all over the world. Despite the volume, significant problems exist with the current way that exchanges work. Some of those problems include the following:

  • Constant fear of hackers
  • Exchange manipulation
  • Fragmented liquidity
  • Risk of identity theft

One of the biggest issues regarding centralized exchanges is the risk of being hacked. These hack stories seem to always be circulating around the internet. While experienced traders may have the tools to avoid becoming a victim, potential new traders have zero interest in dealing with this. And it’s not just the small exchanges that are at risk. Even large exchanges, such as Mt. Gox and Binance, are subject to being hacked.

Another huge risk is having to deal with…

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Altcoins

SonicX and Dash Could Challenge Facebook’s Libra for Global Payments Market Share

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SonicX
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When Satoshi Nakamoto unveiled Bitcoin to the world, the dream was always for Bitcoin to serve as a new universal currency.  It would be free from the bureaucracy of governments.  And free from the tyranny of the old-world financial cartels.  Although the dream hasn’t yet materialized, it comes closer and closer with each passing day.

One of the biggest roadblocks for Bitcoin has been scalability.  At a speed of approximately 7 transactions per second, Bitcoin lags behind other cryptocurrencies like Ripple and global payment processors like Visa.  Many expect the lightning network to have a positive impact on Bitcoin’s TPS but until that comes to fruition, mass adoption will likely need another significant development.

Libra Currency Announcement

One development that could help pave the way toward mass adoption is the launch of the Libra currency.  Libra is expected to go live during the first half of 2020 according to Facebook’s June announcement.  According to Facebook, Libra will make sending money online cheaper and faster.  It will also have a hand in improving access to financial services, especially for the unbanked.  Given Facebook’s global reach, including many third world countries, providing financial access to the unbanked could provide a huge spark to global economies.  Additionally, it could provide the growth spark that cryptocurrency needs.

Facebook’s most popular messenger, WhatsApp, has approximately 1.5 billion monthly users.  This application is…

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