Story image

Once legit site found to be cryptomining, 6,000 machines infected

30 Apr 2018

Check Point researchers have discovered how a previously legitimate video software download site has moved into illicit cryptomining.

Back in 2011, OSDSoft was a website that provided free video download software to thousands of users around the world. The site was registered under the name Ivan Koslov and also had Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts marketing its product.

“In 2014 however, OSDSoft started to appear in a more suspicious context as several adware variants and Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) downloaded from it were spotted in the wild,” says Check Point.

“These adwares and PUPSs acted stealthily in order to evade regular anti-virus protections and performed environment checks to make sure they were not running on a virtual machine.”

Following the sharp rise of cyrptocurrency mining towards the end of 2017, OSDSoft began to delve some of its efforts into mining the Monero cryptocurrency - a popular mining method because of its increased anonymity and profitability of mining on regular PCs.

Check Point says that after some analysis the research team estimates that around 6,000 machines so far have been infected, earning the perpetrator behind OSDSoft around US$700 every day from this mining operation alone.

“The miners are currently distributed by websites disguised as a legitimate Adobe Flash Player update service, telling the victim that their Flash version is outdated. Clicking anywhere on the screen would result in the malicious executable being downloaded,” says Check Point.

“OSDSoft’s author does not want to waste any time in this campaign either, for while waiting for the Monerominer to download, the malignant websites additionally use the CoinHive cryptomining malware to mine through the browser and maximise his profits.”

Fake Adobe Flash Player update service that distributes the cryptominer.

What’s more, the smoke around the whole operation only increases as it is legitimate hosting and file storage services such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), Dropbox and Github, that are being used to store and distribute the malicious cryptomining samples.

Check Point says OSDSoft is a perfect case study detailing how a website started with seemingly innocent intentions can be lured ‘to the dark side’ by the attraction of high value cryptocurrencies to become a cryptomining distribution platform.

Avi Networks: Using visibility to build trust
Visibility, also referred to as observability, is a core tenet of modern application architectures for basic operation, not just for security.
Privacy: The real cost of “free” mobile apps
Sales of location targeted advertising, based on location data provided by apps, is set to reach $30 billion by 2020.
Myth-busting assumptions about identity governance - SailPoint
The identity governance space has evolved and matured over the past 10 years, changing with the world around it.
Forrester names Crowdstrike leader in incident response
The report provides an in-depth evaluation of the top 15 IR service providers across 11 criteria.
Slack doubles down on enterprise key management
EKM adds an extra layer of protection so customers can share conversations, files, and data while still meeting their own risk mitigation requirements.
Security professionals want to return fire – Venafi
Seventy-two percent of professionals surveyed believe nation-states have the right to ‘hack back’ cybercriminals.
Alcatraz AI to replace corporate badges with AI security
The Palo Alto-based startup supposedly leverages facial recognition, 3D sensing, and machine learning to enable secure access control.
Unencrypted Gearbest database leaves over 1.5mil shoppers’ records exposed
Depending on the countries and information requirements, the data could give hackers access to online government portals, banking apps, and health insurance records.