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Australia Highlights Massive Cyberattack Using Cryptojacking Malware

The Australian Cyber Security Centre has highlighted massive cyberattack by a group of “state actors” using cryptojacking malware.

On June 24, it has been reported according to the 48-page that the threat actors exploited four critical vulnerabilities in Telerik UI, including CVE-2019-18935, which was recently leveraged by the Blue Mockingbird malware gang to infect thousands of systems with XMRRig, a Monero (XMR) mining software.

However, the advisory didn’t say if hackers could have installed cryptojacking malware during the recent massive cyberattack. Such vulnerability is the preferred one for the cybercriminals for installing crypto-mining applications within corporate networks.

The Australian government said a vulnerability related to cryptojacking attacks was exploited in recent cyberattacks against the country — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) June 28, 2020

The report highlighted the CVE-2019-18935 vulnerability, which also has similarities with the Blue Mockingbird’s attack, though it doesn’t imply that such a gang participated in the cyberattack against Australia.

The report stated:

“Other exploit payloads were identified by the ACSC most commonly when the actor’s attempt at a reverse shell was unsuccessful. These included: a payload that attempted to execute a PowerShell reverse shell; a payload that attempted to execute certutil.exe to download another payload; a payload that executed binary malware (identified in this advisory as HTTPCore) previously uploaded by the actor but which had no persistence mechanism; a payload that enumerated the absolute path of the web root and wrote that path to a file within the web root.”

Likewise, almost 10 Chinese hacker groups, engaged with espionage activities and allegedly have connections with China’s government, have the PlugX malware among their weapons, which was one of the malware identified in the Australian government’s report.

As per the report, some Australian officials have suggested that China could be behind the massive cyberattack, as the diplomatic issues have been on the rise between the two countries.

It was also said the attack could have come after Australia sought for an investigation on the origin of the COVID-19 virus, something that was not well-received the dragon nation officials, as they considered it a “discriminatory” accusation and responded with trade retaliation against the Oceanic country.

Thus, the Chinese government has denied the claims.



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