Bitcoin, monero and other popular Crypto-Currencies are being mined by fraudsters who use Eternal Blue, the US National Security Agency (NSA) hacking tool that was leaked last year.

The report, published by the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA), says detected cases of illicit cryptocurrency mining have skyrocketed to 459% in 2018 compared to last year.

The surge is linked to the leak of Eternal Blue, a tool to exploit vulnerabilities in outdated Microsoft Windows-based systems.

Eternal Blue was leaked by the Shadow Brokers hacking group in April 2017. The leaked NSA exploit was then used in the notorious WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks.

Microsoft accused the US government of “stockpiling” cyber weapons for facilitating attacks. The researchers said 85% of illicit cryptocurrency malware mines monero, with 8% aimed @ bitcoin.

“A patch for EternalBlue has been available for 18 months and even after being exploited in two significant global cyberattacks – WannaCry and NotPetya – there are still countless organizations that are being victimized by this exploit, as it’s being used by mining malware,” 

“Although monero is significantly less valuable than bitcoin, several factors make this the cryptocurrency of choice for malicious actors,”

US Hackers prefer monero as successor of bitcoin as it offers more privacy and anonymity, “which help malicious actors hide both their mining activities and their transactions using the currency.

 

Transaction addresses and values are obfuscated by default, making tracking monero incredibly difficult for investigators.

Monero has become one of the most popular cryptocurrencies due to its excellent privacy. Its website describes it as “secure, private, untraceable currency.”

RT.com / ABC Flash Point Cyber News 2018.

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