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Transneft Undermined by Cryptocurrency Mining Malware on their Computers

Ali Raza

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Hacker Shuts Down Industrial Plant in Sophisticated Attack

The Russian based company is not the first to be attacked by cryptocurrency miners.

Bitcoin has been a revelation this year having its prices jump from a simple $2,400 when the year started to at least $18,000 now. The exponential price hikes have made the cryptocurrency a must have for any trader, beginner, amateur or professional and has seen many people gain a considerable profit since they bought the cryptocurrency. Similar interest has also started showing in other online currencies including Ethereum, Monero and Bitcoin cash. However, with the new interest in the online currencies, it’s no wonder that there are now new crimes related to it, and they are just starting to pop up.

A Russian based firm, Transneft, released a statement last Friday noting that they had discovered a malware on their servers which was secretly mining the currency illegally from their servers. The Moscow based pipeline giant, believed to be the largest oil company in the world, said that the malware was being used to mine Monero, a type of online currency not as popular as Bitcoin.

The spokesman for the company, Igor Demin, said that fortunately, the company had been able to remove the malware from their computer servers by putting up a complex algorithm on the computers. He also noted that the malware had unfortunately been downloaded to their servers automatically by one of their computers, and had been deleted instantly. He went further to clarify that the issue had been dealt with and they were not going to encounter such issues again.

The Vice President of the company, Vladimir Rushailo, also confirmed the malware and mentioned that the problem could have some effects on the processing capacity of the company’s computers. He did not elaborate further on the malware problem however. The rise in the value of Bitcoin could see many companies being affected by these malicious malware, according to Demin who believes that his company will not be the last to be affected by the malware.

Demin might be right especially considering that his company is not the first to see malware capable of mining cryptocurrencies on their servers recently. Many companies such as Starbucks, Politifact, UFC, and Showtime have noticed crypto mining software on their servers in the past few weeks. To top it all of, that might not be the end of it as experts believe that in the future, many of the hackers will be able to use the corporate hardware with relative ease to mine the currencies they want.

The hacking of the Transneft servers comes at a time when the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has ordered the Russian parliament to put into force legislation for the cryptocurrencies. Under the new laws which are being proposed, the transactions involving cryptocurrencies will remain legal and viable but the mining part of it will be deemed illegal in the country. The Finance Ministry in the country has earlier suggested that miners in the country should at least acquire a registration which would be only exclusive to legal entities and entrepreneurs. Clearly the hype in cryptocurrency is causing some shock waves, and governments need to rein it in before it goes out of hand.

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