New Monero Mining Malware Sends Proceeds to Kim Il Sung University, North Korea
The code for a new Monero mining bot has been found to direct its ill-gotten gains to a computer server located at the first academic institute ever built in North Korea, Kim Il-sung University.
Malware University, North Korea
The report says that: “Cryptocurrencies could provide a financial lifeline to a country hit hard by sanctions. Therefore it's not surprising that universities in North Korea have shown a clear interest in cryptocurrencies. Recently the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology invited foreign experts to lecture on cryptocurrencies. The Installer we've analyzed above may be the most recent product of their endeavors.”
The Usual Suspects
While both counts are likely to true, skeptics may wonder whether the demonization of North Korea is all part of a psy-op to gain public approval for some sort of strike (cyber, financial or otherwise) against the isolated country. Even the Alienvault team admit in their report that just because the code points to Kim Il-sung University doesn’t prove that it is the source of the software, recognizing the option that the “usage of a North Korean server is a prank to trick security researchers.”
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