Hacking Mass-Scan Campaign Apprehended for Ethereum Miners

It has been apprehended that if one is not careful enough with the warnings about port 8545, he may outright do away with all his ETH (Ethereum) currencies overnight. A mass-scan campaign is active at the moment, reports the crypto-jacking and cybersecurity research firm Bad Packets. Internet-exposed Ethereum mining equipment and wallets are in jeopardy. Troy Mursch, the co-founder of Bad Packets in an interview with ZDNet confirmed that the scanning campaign had been active for more than a week now.

Hackers’ favourite grazing ground have been the devices that have port 8545 exposed on the internet. Port 8545 is the standard port for the JSON-RPC interface of a definite kind of Ethereum mining equipment, namely Geth and Ethereum wallets. This interface is an API that permits locally-installed services and apps to get hold of information regarding prices and mining.

It is thus recommended that the interface is made only locally exposed for reasons concerning security. The reality is that not all JSON-RPC interface comes with a default password. This also means that if on failure to set one password, the device gets vulnerable and definitely exposed. The hacker has to go through a very few steps to get their hands on money after this. They would simply have to locate the wallet or mining equipment, after which they send the right command and whack away all the Ethereum from the victim.

It is not that port 8545 is a new problem. It had been a nagging one since 2015. Ethereum was aware of the port 8545 issue and warned the users about it. The community suggested that the users take extra precautions by adding a password or using a firewall to block unwanted traffic for port 8545.

However, the effect of the warning was short-lived and only a few paid a heed to it. Added to it, the researchers have found out another major flaw that gave way to the drainage of exchanges by burning their Ethereum on high transaction costs. Upon detailing a report, the exchanges which allow parties to withdraw ETH to arbitrary addresses without setting gas usage limit that could have been exposed to increased transaction fees. Two specific options have been explored to get rid of this vulnerability. The first would permit the hacker to drain the unprotected exchange by making it pay for a large number of transaction fees. The second option would let the scammer mint GasToken for profits by imposing a small amount of GasToken as a tax for “naïve users.”

Ethereum (ETH) is currently trading at $9,273,355,243, priced at $89.37. Its recent circulating supply reads 103,767,419.

In 2018, the hacking attacks seem to be taking more flights than what it had in 2015 probably because the hackers have improved in their hacking technicalities more than before. Ethereum had reached over $1,300 at the beginning of the year and the beginning of the year itself marks the onset of the multiplicity of the hacking attempts too. Experts advise not to fall trap to low prices for Ethereum.

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