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North Korea Could Be Secretly Mining Cryptocurrency On Your Computer (qz.com) 102

An anonymous reader shares a report: North Korea has a cryptocurrency infatuation. Its government has been accused of unleashing a global ransomware attack to raise bitcoin, mining the cryptocurrency within its borders, and hacking South Korean bitcoin exchanges. Now, research firm Recorded Future says there's a strong chance Kim Jong-un's regime is experimenting with malware that secretly mines currency using other people's computers. Malware crypto-mining is a new global trend among hackers, says a new report from Recorded Future, which monitors discussions among "the criminal underground" on the so-called dark web. Starting this year, hackers seem to be shifting away from high-intensity, widespread ransomware attacks, towards "long-term, low velocity" crypto-mining in the background. Recorded Future has not detected specific instances of North Korean malware mining, but believes that the regime has the knowhow, motive, and interest in cryptocurrencies to execute similar attacks. "North Korean threat actors have prior experience in assembling and managing botnets, bitcoin mining, and cryptocurrency theft, as well as in custom altering publicly available malware; three elements that would be key to effectively creating and managing a network of covert cryptocurrency miners," Recorded Future's report reads.
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North Korea Could Be Secretly Mining Cryptocurrency On Your Computer

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  • North Korea and Russia are NOT the enemy. That's the only thing that's for sure.

    • It fits (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pr0t0 ( 216378 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @11:16AM (#55430363)

      I have a long-standing axiom that the more something is advertised to be true, the less likely it is to actually be true. Oft-repeated superlative phrases like "fastest network", "number one in service", "widest selection", etc. can generally be taken as slowest, worst, and limited respectively.

      If you feel like you're being manipulated, it's because you are. This is particularly true when you see sudden ramp-up in coverage about a story, nation, or technology where previously there had been none. A single story is one thing, but one followed by a break of a few months and then two more with shorter breaks between, then suddenly one every 2-3 weeks on the same subject sets off my BS meter.

      • Yeah, it's not like North Korea has been in the news regularly for half a century, or they have any kind of espionage program that recruits and trains crackers, or they have an interest in circumventing the global financial system with cryptocurrencies. Only a fool would believe that!
        • by pr0t0 ( 216378 )

          That's a fair point. But for most of the last 50 years, NK hit the news only a few times a year if that. There was a slight uptick when Kim Jong-un took over.

          But since the election, there has been a steady increase in coverage and rhetoric. There's been that "ramping-up" that I was talking about. I'm feeling like a frog in the warming water. If we go to war with NK, everyone in the US will feel it is perfectly justified and we had no choice. The war machine will spin up, and defense contractors will rake in

          • by GNious ( 953874 )

            We'll "win" that war. There will be much rejoicing in SK.

            If you lot go to war with Best Korea, fully expect a scorched earth approach from them, targeting South Korea.

      • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

        Oft-repeated superlative phrases like "fastest network", "number one in service", "widest selection", etc. can generally be taken as slowest, worst, and limited respectively.

        You can't do that at least in the United States. It's considered fraud if the claim is being purposefully misrepresented. That used to be the case in the past though. Today you hear things like "Rated fastest network according to XYZ" and "Number one in service according to JD Power and Associates". Many of these are easy to verify. For example, if Comcast claimed to be number one in service according to JD Power and Associates, it's easy to check and they would have a lawsuit on their desk in a micros

    • by Ogive17 ( 691899 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @11:53AM (#55430583)
      As an American, I also blame our own government. However to deny the actions of Russia and N. Korea simply because you don't like the US... that's incredibly naive.

      I have family in Japan - there are legitimate concerns about missiles flying over their country. They have enough to worry about with earthquakes, volcanoes, typhoons, nuclear plant meltdown.. missiles from N. Korea is a bit over the top.

      Russia - they invaded Ukraine and still occupy part of it. They are just as active covertly in the affairs of every government as the US is. To them, it must be funny watching a significant portion of Americans deny reality because "their guy" won the election.

      Now I don't believe their meddling in the election had a big impact.. Hillary just isn't a likable person. Did it sway some votes... probably.. was it enough to change the outcome? Highly unlikely. Hillary still got more votes, just not in the places she needed them.
      • Russia "invaded" Ukraine after we created a revolution ( Victoria Nuland's fuck the EU) and put in a REAL NAZI? You have kool-aid all over you.
        • by haruchai ( 17472 )

          Russia "invaded" Ukraine after we created a revolution ( Victoria Nuland's fuck the EU) and put in a REAL NAZI? You have kool-aid all over you.

          But America & Russia do a lot of asshattery outside their borders. The Cold War was never really over.

          • Something tells me that we slaves seim in vast pools of asshattery from almost every country. Any dept. of defence anywhere really

          • Agreed. People should look at the big picture and the norms (which aren't great for any player here) before using a small sample of recent events as justification for hateful opinions. This isn't really new stuff here to justify extra "Russia-bad" think, though obviously there are people who think their paychecks depend on that meme posting. In fact we've "poked the bear" damn hard a few times lately, with a very statesmanlike response on their part...we'd have never put up with what we've done to them,
    • That logic only makes sense if you have an IQ over ~135... i.e. don't expect those that don't (most of us) to be able to reach such an obvious conclusion.
  • ohhh soo scary (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    you mean how American companies secretly mine bitcoin using javascript?

    Enjoy your western propaganda FUD of the day

    • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      Which seems to be a good reason to run the Edge browser. I don't believe it supports java anything.

  • Now we know why DPRK needed the internet connection though Russia for those 20 IP addresses they have..

  • No, They Are Not (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "Recorded Future has not detected specific instances of North Korean malware mining"

    But we're still going to make up a sensationalist story about it so that maybe you can visit our page that does Coinhive you into generating some cryptocurrency.

    Thanks M'Smash, you really suck!

  • North Korea doesnâ(TM)t have an additional capability for executing code on your machine. If you secure your resources against the multitude of on going attacks, you most certainly are secure against North Korean mining code.
    • I don't think you are aware of what capabilities they have. You must also not be aware they have an ongoing program to recruit and train crackers, that it is among the best of such state-sponsored groups, and that it's a key part of their asmymmetrical warfare. If they don't have exclusive exploits yet, they will soon. And you won't know about it until it's in the news that Sony got hacked again or whatever. And at that point, you'll stick your fingers in your ears and mumble something about Hillary's emai
  • by SlithyMagister ( 822218 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @11:27AM (#55430447)
    Any /. article whose subject includes "could be" or similar wording is speculation, not news.
    Almost anything "could" happen.

    TFS says there's "a strong chance" that NK is doing something, but presents no evidence.
    From TFA: "Recorded Future has not detected specific instances of North Korean malware mining"

    Articles such as this are tabloid-worthy, and IMO reduce the overall quality of /.
    Enjoy your day.
  • I thought mining from websites would only happen if you went to a page that uses it. Anyone browsing one of the 20 web sites that North Korea has? If they're even on the general Internet at all.

    I guess they could be doing through hacked ads or something like that, but we're all running ad-blockers right? Right?

    • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

      I thought mining from websites would only happen if you went to a page that uses it.

      There are multiple attack vectors.

  • I'm sure that various world governments have to be getting sick of Bitcoin and Etherium funding so-called "terrorist" states like North Korea and Iran. How much longer is it going to be before they start forcing ISP's to block transaction requests at the network layer?

    Sure, the cryptocoin developers will find workarounds for such measures, but even a threat of a government trying something like this would likely cause the value of the currency to drop.

    • Sure, the cryptocoin developers will find workarounds for such measures, but even a threat of a government trying something like this would likely cause the value of the currency to drop.

      You seriously misunderstand the nature of many cryptocurrency users. An overt move by any government against any cryptocurrency would do nothing but validate their worldview and cause them to double down on their devotion to their cryptocurrency of choice. Bitcoin value against the dollar would go up, not down if a government tried to restrict its existence by interfering with the network. Even if it actually did become harder to use. A fair number of cryptocurrency users are conspiracy theorists who ha

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      They don't want to block transaction requests, they like what the government of China did, they want to data mine crypto currency transactions and not just because the spy vs spy types are heavily into it, sort it, as it crumbles away because it's like the number flag for criminal activity, tax evasions, espionage, computer hacking. The more crypto currency you have, the worse you look to criminal investigators. Stories like this, the early shots in the PR meme to attack crypto currency users, are a strong

  • by TomR teh Pirate ( 1554037 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @11:34AM (#55430485)
    I thought I was being targeted in a scam when that woman with the Indian accent and claiming to be from Microsoft told me my computer was spreading viruses on the internet, but maybe it was all true. I hang my head in shame for the things I said to her.
  • They are doing it very slowly. Both my CPU and GPU are near zero % utilisation.

  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @11:44AM (#55430529)

    Recorded Future has not detected specific instances of North Korean malware mining, but believes that the regime has the knowhow, motive, and interest in cryptocurrencies to execute similar attacks.

    So in other words - you have exactly nothing to say, but spent an entire article saying it.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @11:55AM (#55430599)
    with a constant stream of anti-NK news in all outlets. Seriously, they did this for Iraq too and nobody remembers it. Or if they do they don't care, they're just looking forward to the next war.

    BTW, what are we gonna do with 22 million shell shocked refugees in a country that doesn't have any natural resources whatsoever?
  • Who will win?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RumGunner ( 457733 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2017 @12:03PM (#55430663) Homepage

    Will fear-mongering warhawks trying to scare the public against the "red" threat succeed in getting Bitcoin banned? Or will Wall Street crony-captalists eager to scam as much money out of digital currency as possible prevail?

    Could this be the end of Bitcoin?!?! Will a nuclear-powered DPRK succeed in harvesting every last drop of your spare processor power??!? Will Wall Street bilch billions from Americans before driving Bitcoin into the ground?

    I can make sensationalist headlines too.

  • I could have been a rich man..
  • What kind of money are we even talking about here realistically? One thousand dollars? Five thousand?
  • (insert evil country/government/company name here) could be secretly (insert hot topic of the day here) on your (computer|smartphone|tablet|smart tv|digital assistant|electric car)

    • (insert evil country/government/company name here) could be secretly (insert hot topic of the day here) on your (computer|smartphone|tablet|smart tv|digital assistant|electric car)

      It's called clickbait. Just slightly more sophisticated clickbait than one weird trick, but still clickbait.

      I can't wait for the collapse of Internet advertising to finally come to fruition. Unfortunately I'm probably going to be waiting a very long time. PT Barnum was right: there's a sucker born every minute. There are enough suckers to fuel Internet advertising for the rest of eternity.

      I did my part. I didn't click on the link to the article. But my ability to stem the tide is a match for King Canu

      • I rarely click on links to the articles. What I usually do is search for the company name and go directly to their website. If I'm already at a company's website, there's no point in showing me ads.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That's a bold claim that N.K. is doing this. Any real evidence beyond an IP address? All hackers (especially nation states) automatically change MAC address and IP address, but they might put one pointing back to Russia if they want you to blame them.

  • In order to mine cryptocurrency effectively it has to use CPU/GPU power. Watch your temps on both CPU and GPU. Plenty of tools available to actively monitor. If your CPU/GPU is running while you think it should be idle figure out what process is doing it. If you don't know how to do this, you shouldn't own a computer.

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