According to security researcher VriesHd’s tweets, the number of Mikro Tik routers that have now been infected with cryptojacking malware has doubled to 415,000 since this summer.
Mikro Tik’s Routers Vulnerable
VriesHd has been working with another research company, Bad Packets Report, to track how cryptojacking malware has been infecting routers. These types of malware infect routers and then force them to mine cryptocurrencies.
The study done by these two researchers found that the routers made by Latvian company Mikro Tik were infected by at least sixteen different types of malware. This included the cryptojacking malware Coinhive, which targets mining for the privacy oriented token Monero (XMR).
According to the research done by Bad Packets, the number of infected routers had already crossed 280,000 by September, just a month after they started tracking the infection.
VriesHd stated that currently, they had only explored three possible ways in which Mikro Tik’s routers could be abused. He said that there could be more ways in which these routers could be infected, but they had not explored those avenues yet.
VriesHd also stated that the 415,000 figure was just a preliminary one, and that this number could be slightly inaccurate since the data had been collected reflects only IP addresses that had been infected. However, he still believes that the final number would be high, somewhere between 350,000 and 400,000.
In an interview, the researcher stated that the cryptojackers had switched from using Coinhive to other types of mining malware such as Omine and CoinImp.
Cryptojacking on the Rise
According to a research report by Bloomberg, the total number of malware infections related to cryptocurrency mining has gone up by 500% in 2018, thanks to hackers allegedly stealing a code from the American National Security Agency (NSA) that targeted Microsoft Systems.
Palo Alto Networks, a network security found that 5% of all the Monero mined in the world was done through cryptojacking.
Brazil is the country that faces the highest number of cryptojacking cases. Iran’s cybersecurity agency researched the issue of cryptojacking and found that Brazil was infected more than 81,000 times by the Coinhive malware in the month of October alone.
The second most vulnerable country to be attacked by cryptojackers is India, with 29,000 reported incidents. Indonesia is the third most frequently attacked country in the world, with over 23,000 cases of malware infections being detected.
According to the Iranian cybersecurity agency, Iran itself was hit by 11,000 crypto-mining malware attacks in the same time period.