According to Johannes Ullrich, a computer security instructor at SANS Technology Institute, revealed that hackers have been able to hack security cameras and then in turn using them to earn bitcoin, the unspecified cyber currency. He detailed that Hikvision’s digital video recorders (DVRs), used for recording from surveillance cameras, have been found infected of a malicious virus which is also contagious in the sense that it spreads to other devices connected to the same network. Thus, being able to mine for bitcoin for the creator of the virus. He wrote:
“Analysis of the malware is still ongoing, and any help is appreciated.”
“Here are some initial findings: The malware is an ARM Binary, indicating that it is targeting devices, not your typical x86 Linux server. The malware scans for Synology devices exposed on port 500.”
Therefore, this virus is unique in the sense that it does not attack to hack the OS or cause a malfunction in the network rather it attacks the devices connected to the computers. It has been found on routers as well which may potentially provide an access to hackers for a DNS-based DDoS attack.
Bitcoin is in free fall, after generating much news about being a genuine cyber currency, and is not even considered a currency by US Internal Revenue Service rather they have announced that it will be treated as property. However, despite the decrease in interest in bitcoin, there is still enough hype around it to force people to use criminal ways to earn it. In this case, using hardware which is not a new approach according to Wired’s Robert McMillan.
“Though this is a novel method, it’s hardly the first time hackers have tried to bust their way into other people’s hardware in order to make some bitcoin, the popular digital currency.”
“The bitcoin system is run by independent machines spread across the globe, and if you contribute processing power to the system, you receive some bitcoin in return. This is called mining, and hackers often seek to mine using any machines they can gain control of – including security camera DVRs.”
In this year, bitcoin has degraded as much as 38 percent already against USD and Mt. Gox, Japanese bitcoin exchange, has filed for bankruptcy in US in March 2014. The fate of the cyber currency looks too gloomy to have the worth for such an effort to earn it.