Egypt Secretly Infecting Citizens’ Computers With Malware To Mine Cryptocurrency

March 9, 2018 8:58 pm Published by
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The Egyptian government along with organizations related to it were accused of purposefully infecting their citizens’ computers with crypto mining malware in a new report from researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada, according to AMBCrypto. 

The paper said that the Egyptian government was infecting local computers with crypto-mining malware, which was also found on Coinhive, that was previously accused of lax security when the crypto jacking malware was found to be present on more than 50,000 WordPress websites. 

The University’s Citizen Lab identified the scheme, naming it “AdHose” since it covertly sent Egyptian internet users’ web traffic to malware which then used their computers to display ads or mine the Monero cryptocurrency. 

AdHose relies on hardware which is installed within the networks of Telecom Egypt. 

The hardware used in AdHose additionally works as a censorship tool since it blocks users from accessing websites including Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, Al Jazeera, Mada Masr, HuffPost Arabic, and other websites that have been critical about the government rule in Cairo. 

The Citizen Lab said the government uses two modes to infect the computers: Spray and Trickle. 

For the first mode, Spray, the users would be redirected to the malware or an ad network which uses Coinhive, and comprised almost 95% of the total scanned devices that were infected with the malware. 

The second Trickle technique is when users are redirected only when they visit selected sites, such as CopticPope.org, a formerly religious website, or the pornographic website of Babylon-X.com. 

The current Grand mufti of Egypt Shawki Allam recently said that cryptocurrency is forbidden under Islamic religious law since it’s unreliable and the markets are too volatile. 

WN.com, Maureen Foody



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