Cryptojacking Attack Forces Canadian University To Shut Down Entire Network

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Nov 12, 2018 10:30 am PST

It’s being reported that St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada has been targeted by cryptocurrency mining malware in a cyberattack that has forced the institution to shut down its entire network for the better part of a week as system administrators struggle to root out the malware. Known as “cryptojacking”, the practice has become recognised as a tool of choice for cybercriminals who are increasingly pivoting toward crypto technology to facilitate their activities.

Don Duncan, Director at NuData Security:

don duncan“In just the first quarter of this year alone coin miner malware rose by 629% to more than 2.9 million samples according to McAfee.* It is a lucrative way for hackers to make money without drawing a lot of attention like ransomware does. They just infect users like this college network, and then siphons off power to mine cryptocurrencies. You would not necessarily notice it until all systems start to slow down. There is also the potential  that this breach can be used for other purposes later on, especially if it downloaded another type of malware at the same time. The university has no choice but to deprive these hijackers further access by shutting down systems to understand the scope of the issue. In situations such as this realtime visibility into the status of existing systems is critical as it helps to identify potential threats early mitigating future damage.”