Telegram Exploit Used to Mine Monero and Zcash

Hackers used right-to-left override to mine crypto using victims computer and to install spyware
14 February 2018   1385

Kaspersky Lab specialists discovered a breach in the Telegram client for Windows, which hackers used to mine cryptocurrency and install spyware since March 2017. Victims of intruders could be up to 1 thousand people, according to Kommersant.

According to experts, the vulnerability was to use an attack RLO (right-to-left override), through which attackers changed the order of characters in the name and file extension. Thus, the victim downloaded malicious software under the guise of, for example, images, and launched it themselves, unaware that it was an executable file. This allowed cybercriminals to gain remote access to victims' computers and use their computing capabilities to mine Monero, Zcash, Fantomcoin and others.

In addition, hackers installed spyware on computers. So, on the servers of cybercriminals, analysts found archives with the local cache of Telegram, which the criminals pumped out from the victims devices. Each of them, among other things, contained in various user materials in encrypted form: documents, audio and video recordings, photographs.

The detected artifacts allow us to suggest the Russian origin of the criminals. Some lines in the malicious code were in Russian, and in the "lit" email addresses of intruders appeared Russian words and names.

Alexey Firsh
Kaspersky Lab

All cases of hacker attacks were recorded in Russia and only with a client for Windows. At the same time, Kaspersky Lab's specialists do not exclude that other platforms were exposed to vulnerabilities.

Currently, Telegram instant messenger developers are notified of the problem, the vulnerability is already closed.

Bitmain's Q3 Losses to Reach $500M

Bitmain still hopes to conduct an IPO at Hong Kong Stock Exchange
19 February 2019   99

The Chinese mining company Bitmain lost $ 500 million in the third quarter of 2018 amid a decline in the cryptocurrency market, CoinDesk reports, citing updated financial reporting provided by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) for its initial public offering (IPO) on its site.

In the first nine months of last year, Bitmain earned about $ 500 million, with a total amount of revenues of $ 3 billion, a source familiar with the situation said. Earlier, Bitmain stated that its profit for the first half of 2018 was $ 1 billion. As reported, subtracting that from a $500 million profit for the first nine months leaves it with a net loss of roughly $500 million for the third quarter.

In the past, Bitmain also reported that its income for the first half of the year was $ 2.8 billion. Thus, taking into account the total amount of revenues for nine months, only about $ 200 million remains for the third quarter.

The updated statements also contain information about Bitmain's cryptocurrency possessions - they depreciated from more than $ 800 million on June 30 to less than $ 700 million at the end of the third quarter. The fall of more than $ 100 million coincided with a general decline in the cryptocurrency market.

The application for IPO, issued by Bitmain at the end of September, contained information that the company held mainly Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash. The ratio of assets in its portfolio is unknown. According to CoinMarketCap, the rates for these cryptocurrencies fell by more than 50%, and Bitcoin Cash lost over 70% of the cost.

The documents will be presented to the general public only if the Bitmain application is approved to the meeting regarding the listing of the company's shares, which may not take place, given HKEX’s doubts about the viability of mining companies.