Telegram founder downplays Kaspersky's crypto mining hack claims | finder.com

Telegram founder downplays Kaspersky’s crypto mining hack claims

Peter Terlato 13 February 2018

The hackers reportedly used malware to mine Monero, Zcash, Fantomcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Russian cybersecurity provider Kaspersky Lab reported that researchers had uncovered malware attacks being executed on cloud-based instant messaging service Telegram, for the purpose of illicit cryptocurrency mining.

In a release issued today, Kaspersky Lab claimed the vulnerability was used to deliver multipurpose malware which, depending on the computer, can be used either as a backdoor or as a tool to deliver mining software.

Kaspersky’s research noted that the attacks were possible due to a zero-day vulnerability, which can be used by malware creators to mislead users into downloading malicious files disguised, for example, as images.

“As a result, users downloaded hidden malware which was then installed on their computers. Kaspersky Lab reported the vulnerability to Telegram and, at the time of publication, the zero-day flaw has not since been observed in messenger’s products,” according to Kaspersky Lab.

However, despite the claims, Telegram founder Pavel Durov scoffed at Kaspersky’s assertions and reassured users that “this is not a real vulnerability” and that “this kind of vulnerability is based on social engineering”.

“The Kaspersky antivirus company claimed today they found a ‘0-day vulnerability on Telegram for Windows’, which affected ‘1000 users before it was fixed’,” Durov said via posts on his personal Telegram channel.

“As always, reports from antivirus companies must be taken with a grain of salt, as they tend to exaggerate the severity of their findings to get publicity in mass media.”

Durov cited the popular Telegram Geeks channel, where users claimed “no one can remotely take control of your computer or Telegram unless you open a malicious file”.

“So don’t worry, unless you opened a malicious file, you have always been safe,” the users said.

The hackers reportedly used the malware to mine Monero, Zcash, Fantomcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Artifacts discovered during Kaspersky’s research indicated that the cybercriminals had Russian origins.

Crypto mining has become an incredibly lucrative business and in turn, mining malware is more prevalent.

Samsung Electronics recently entered into a contract to manufacture specific-use cryptocurrency mining hardware in order to supply an unnamed Chinese company, growing competition in a monopolized market.

The city of Virginia Beach has pledged $500,000 to help install a bitcoin mine, expected to generate local jobs.

Several leading colleges throughout the United States now offer dedicated classes examining the increasingly popular cryptocurrency industry and the still-developing blockchain technology that supports it.

You can learn all about different exchanges, understand exactly how to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, calculate your taxes, discover digital wallets to hold assets and explore a list of the alternative coins on the market.

This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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