Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Cyber Threat Alliance Releases Cryptomining Whitepaper

This post is authored by Ashlee Benge.

Despite the recent devaluation of some cryptocurrencies, illicit cryptocurrency miners remain a lucrative and widespread attack vector in the threat landscape. These miners are easy to deploy, and attackers see it as a quick way to steal other users' processing power to generate cryptocurrency. These attacks are harder to notice than a traditional denial-of-service or malware campaign, resulting in reduced risk and a more stable foothold for a malicious actor. The Cyber Threat Alliance, with contributions from Cisco Talos and other CTA members, has released a whitepaper detailing the rise of cryptomining attacks that outlines what you — and your organization — should know about these kinds of campaigns.

This paper covers the fact that there is a low technical barrier to entry for attackers, and that there are accessible patches to protect users from many of these attacks. Because cryptomining campaigns are easy to launch, a broader set of actors have engaged in this activity, resulting in a higher rate of attacks. Talos often observes multiple actors with illicit cryptomining software on the same compromised box. The use of well-known vulnerabilities by attackers essentially turns this problem into a canary-in-the-coalmine situation for defenders. If you discover unauthorized cryptomining software on one of your assets, there is a high likelihood that other actors have also leveraged the weaknesses in your systems to gain access — potentially for more damaging purposes.

Prior Coverage


Snort signatures exist to provide coverage for a variety of miner downloads, malware variants related to cryptocurrency miners and to block protocols commonly used by miners.

The following SIDs detect incoming clients and miner downloads:

44692-44693, 45265-45268, 45809-45810, 45949-45952, 46365-46366 and 46370-46372.

The following SIDs detect malware variants known to be associated with miners:

20035, 20057, 26395, 28399, 28410-28411, 29493 - 29494, 29666, 30551- 30552, 31271- 31273, 31531 - 31533, 32013, 33149, 43467 - 43468, 44895 - 44899, 45468 - 45473, 45548, 45826 - 45827, 46238 - 46240.

The following SIDs detect Stratum protocols used by cryptocurrency workers:

26437, 40840 - 40842, 45417, 45549 - 45550, 45825, 45955.

Additional rules may be released at a future date, and current rules are subject to change, pending additional vulnerability information. For the most current rule information, please refer to your Firepower Management Console or Snort.org.

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