Security camera DVRs make for stupid bitcoin miners

Password cracking; Payment device infection; Unauthorized use of system administrator privileges

Hackers have been infecting recording devices to steal processing power for making the virtual currency.

Johannes Ullrich, a researcher at the SANS Technology Institute, was the first to disclose malicious software corrupting Hikvision DVRs that are used to record video from security cameras.

The malware apparently spreads using the default usernames and passwords for the Hikvision devices, which most people do not change after setting them up.

It jumps from device to device, trying to penetrate any other DVRs it finds on a network.

“It also tries to earn a little scratch for its creators by mining bitcoins, a processor-intensive activity that would probably slow down any infected DVR,” Ars reports.

Ullrich said the malicious code was designed to target the “ARM processor” that’s running these devices.

“The low-powered ARM chip is one of the worst possible processors you could pick for the crypto-heavy calculations that make up bitcoin mining,” Ars reports.

After hearing of the scheme, Chris Wysopal, co-founder of security firm Veracode, tweeted, “Seriously this is just wasting electricity.”

ThreatWatch is a regularly updated catalog of data breaches successfully striking every sector of the globe, as reported by journalists, researchers and the victims themselves.




April 1, 2014

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Late March 2014