Cryptojacking Attack Hits Hundreds of Computers at Aditya Birla Group

Aditya Birla Group, one of India’s largest business tycoons, suffered the first cryptojacking attack in April. The company is headquartered in Mumbai.

Cryptojacking is the new variety of cyber-warfare, where target’s terminals and processing power can be misused by hackers to mine cryptocurrency. According to reports, more than 2,000 desktops of various companies of the group were attacked by hackers.

The attack was first detected about a month ago at a group’s overseas subsidiary. The malware has spread to different companies within a few days.   

“It’s a kind of attack where the primary intention of the hackers is not to steal information and cause business disruption. Rather, they hijack the target’s computers and tap the power supply to the organization to mine crypto coins,” said to ET by a person who is aware of this attack.

Responding to ET’s email query, an Aditya Birla group spokesperson said: “Aditya Birla Group has advanced threat management systems that are constantly monitoring and protecting business-critical applications and infrastructure in all Businesses. Recently, the advanced 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. As an added assurance, we initiated a detailed forensic investigation which is nearing conclusion in respect of root cause analysis and preventive actions”.

‘Monero’ is the currency which was mined by the attack. Monero is virtually untraceable and believed to be more anonymous than Bitcoin. It is the best-known cryptocurrency for its huge price volatility amid regulatory crackdowns and strong interest from wealthy investors who selected to diversify beyond conventional securities and central bank-backed dominant fiat currencies like dollar and euro.

In cryptojacking,  the malware infiltrates the victim’s computer. It then converts those into zombies to make them work on behalf of the attackers. One of the signs of the cryptojacking is the sudden slowing down of the machines.

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