The Egyptian authorities or affiliated structures, presumably, intercepted the traffic of citizens of the country who are installing software for mining cryptocurrency, according to a report by researchers at the University of Toronto. Among the suspects are also providers from Turkey and Syria, who secretly installed software for surveillance.
Some governments or related agencies use deep packet inspection technology to intercept web traffic, as well as manipulate end-user computers. This technology allows providers to degrade, block, record, deploy, and prioritize different types of web traffic using the single package validation method.
According to the report, in Egypt the scheme works at the expense of equipment installed in the Telecom Egypt network. From each site the affected browser tried to access, the user was redirected to ad networks or the Coinhive Miner. In January, already 5,700 devices were infected, but in the final report the exact number of victims is not indicated.
Researchers at Citizen Lab found that providers use a scheme called AdHose to secretly earn money by mining the Montero cryptocurrency. “We found similar interim devices at the Telecom Egypt demarcation point, they were used to redirect users of dozens of providers to connect advertising and browser mining scripts,” the report said.
In addition, the equipment is also an instrument of censorship and blocks the sites of organizations such as Al Jazeera and Human Rights Watch. Similar schemes under the guise of antiviruses are used in Turkey and Syria to track down citizens, the researchers found.
The cyber security company Talos estimated that 2,000 hidden devices can bring more than $100 million a year. Obviously, in the case of Egyptian citizens, there are much more devices.
According to a study by the largest cyber security company Symantec Threat Intelligence, from October 2017 to January 2018 there has been a sharp increase in hacker attacks on users’ computers for cryptographic purposes. The most active hackers operated in the UK, where the growth of attacks was 1200%, in the US, Japan, France, Germany.
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