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Massive Malware Attack Stemmed From Bittorent App

By March 30, 2018June 8th, 2022Cybersecurity

According to a Microsoft security researcher, a massive malware attack attempted to install a cryptocurrency mining software on more than 400,000 computers in less than twelve hours.  The failed campaign is noteworthy because of the attack vector used.  It was a supply chain attack implemented by compromising Bittorrent, a highly popular program used to share and download files.

Until recently, security professionals discounted the very possibility of supply chain attacks, regarding them as highly improbable occurrences.  The sad truth, however, is that they’re becoming increasingly common.  Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen a growing number of them, including CCleaner, which is a popular disk-maintenance program.  A poisoned version of it was delivered to more than two million of the software’s users.

In another supply chain attack, M.E. Doc (a tax and accounting application which is widely used in the Ukraine) was tainted and contained the NotPetya wiper worm, and shut down computers all over the world just last year.

Then there was a collection of Android apps that came preinstalled on phones from not one, but two different manufacturers that allowed hackers unfettered access to the data on those phones.  In fact, this is actually the second time Bittorrent has been hijajcked.  Last year, a tainted version of the client installed ransomware on Macintosh computers around the world.

Fortunately, this latest attack was not successful, although Microsoft researcher reported that Windows Defender blocked more than 400,000 attempts to infect computers between March 1st and March 6th, with the actual Bittorrent infection occurring sometime between February 12 and February 19.  In this instance, the threat was regional, with most of the computers being located in Russia, Turkey, and the Ukraine.

While this was the latest supply chain attack, it certainly won’t be the last. Worst of all, these kinds of attacks are notoriously hard to prevent because updates coming from trusted sources are often installed without question.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.