A Canadian ISP has been identified as the source of a cryptocurrency hack that stole $83,000 over four months.
The hacker attacked mining pools, which are centralized services that aggregate the work of cryptocurrency 'miners.' Mining software uses computing power to crack a cryptographic code in a challenge that is repeated across the cryptocurrency network every few minutes. Bitcoin is the most famous cryptocurrency, but the hacker also stole from others, including Dogecoin.
The cryptocurrency network rewards the miners for their work by generating a predefined number of coins. These are sent to whichever miner cracks the code.
The Canadian ISP was used as the source of an attack that fooled miners' computers into reconnecting with a malicious mining pool. The attacker duped the mining computers by manipulating the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). The malicious pool used these miners' computing resources without sending them the rewards.
The attack, discovered by Dell subsidiary SecureWorks, ran between February and May, and targeted 51 networks operated by 19 ISPs.
The unnamed Canadian ISP was either compromised by a malicious hacker, or a current or former employee, SecureWorks concluded.