As previously reported by Core Media, The Pirate Bay’s Monero mining experiment triggered an upsurge of cryptocurrency mining malware throughout the web. A new victim has just come forward. The torrent index website’s experiment adds a Monero mining code provided by Coinhive to its website to mine cryptocurrency using visitor resources without disclosing its presence.
Bad actors started using the code to take advantages of people’s computer resources so much that even CBS-owned Showtime websites were affected.
The latest Monero mining code victim, according to Reuters, is oil pipeline giant Transneft. The oil giant recently had to clear malware from its systems after someone infected them with Coinhive’s code. Transneft referred to multiple incidents without revealing how many computers were affected. The Transneft vice president, Vladimir Rushailo made a statement.
“Incidents where the company’s hardware was used to manufacture cryptocurrency have been found. It could have a negative impact on the productivity of our processing capacity.”
The former interior minister didn’t elaborate on the attack, but the company revealed that it has already shored up its security systems to prevent future attacks. Speaking to Reuters, Pavel Lutsik, a cybersecurity expert said that per Russian law, a person who attempts to hack corporate systems faces up to six years in jail.
Russian authorities have recently issued a warning on cryptocurrencies, alleging their use is mainly for laundering and terrorism financing. Earlier this year, Russia’s central bank (CBR) revealed it planned to regulate the cryptocurrency market by limiting individual purchases.
The pipeline company incident is just the latest high-profile Monero mining breach. Recently, Starbucks’ free Wi-Fi secretly hijacked people’s computers to mine. Even mobile devices have been tapped into by cybercriminals looking to make a few bucks.
The Monero mining craze has gotten so big that, at one point, hackers even managed to hack Coinhive itself and redirect mined XMR to a wallet they controlled. As cybersecurity expert Pavel Lutsik told Reuters, people have learned that “they don’t even need to stand up from the sofa to make money”. The implication was that they can simply use other people’s computer resources to mine.