A Canadian university took the drastic step to shut down the entire network after some of its computers were infected with cryptocurrency miners who overloaded their processors.
St. Francis Xavier University (StFX), Nova Scotia, revealed that he was the victim of such a serious cryptocurrency attack that the university decided that the campus's network was interrupted the best option for recovery.
In a statement, the university said its IT department "deliberately disabled all network systems" after consulting external security experts.
The decision resulted in a four-day stoppage starting last Thursday last week in response to what he said was an "automatic attack on our systems known as cocoa mining".
While no personal information has been exposed in the attack, the university has confirmed that the malware "has attempted to use the collective computing power of StFX to create or discover bitcoins for monetary gain".
On Sunday the systems were revived in a "staggered approach". Systems knocked down during the response include the university's wi-fi network, its online learning system "Moodle" and payment systems.
It is likely that the term "bitcoin" was a generic reference to cryptocurrencies as most criminals use software in this context to generate less powerful computational currencies, such as Monero, Lotecoin, Dogecoin, or a dozen other cryptocurrencies in Bitcoin shadow.
Criminals have begun to use the CPUs of others for mass-mining last year, while file encryption ransomware attacks have stabilized.
Ransomware operators promised victims access to their encrypted files in exchange for payment primarily in Bitcoin, probably because Bitcoin is the most accepted cryptocurrency for payments, despite being difficult for me.
Instead of requiring payments in Bitcoins, attackers simply infected PCs with coin acceptors or used CoinHive-based malware to collect CPU capacity and generate income without incurring any cost.
But for victims, it can mean that the CPU of their machine is consumed until the machine burns. Malicious miners have been deployed against consumer devices, often using browser malware, while company hardware has been co-opted in mining currency via incorrect vulnerabilities in the company server software.
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