Unidentified entities at a telecom company connected to the Egyptian government are using malware to trick Middle Eastern Web users into unwittingly mining monero, according to a new report.
Internet users in Turkey and Syria who downloaded Windows applications such as Avast Antivirus, CCleaner, Opera, or 7-Zip were unknowingly redirected to malicious versions with malware, the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab claimed in a study published Friday.
– which calls this scheme "AdHose – explained:
When reached for comment, Sandvine pushed back against the report's findings, telling CoinDesk:
The spokesperson also said that an investigation into the allegations is being undertaken because the company is "deeply committed to ethical technology development."
The idea of cryptocurrency-fueled government spyware may seem far-fetched. However, researchers involved with the Tor Project’s Open Observatory of Network Interference noted a similar malware epidemic – minus the cryptocurrency mining element – in 2016. Tor researchers found the Telecom Egypt-owned internet provider TE Data, which controls the majority of Egyptian internet bandwidth, facilitated a man-in-the-middle attack with both malware and affiliate advertising.
Egyptian flag and bitcoin image via Shutterstock
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