A commodity cryptomining botnet campaign that has infected a half-million computers is now tapping a lucrative secondary moneymaking opportunity in selling access to victim machines, according to researchers.
An analysis of the known Smominru cryptomining campaign, which uses a modified version of XMRig to perform Monero mining, has uncovered an evolution in tools to include RATs, the Mimikatz credential-scraper and an EternalBlue exploit for propagation. This has all coalesced into a multistage campaign involving profiling and selling victim and network access, according to Carbon Black’s Threat Analysis Unit (CB TAU).
“[Our hypothesis is] that these systems were being profiled for the purpose of selling access to buyers interested in that type of machine, especially any machine that happens to be located within a particular company of interest,” CB TAU researchers said in their report, published Wednesday. “Furthermore, based on the evidence uncovered, this campaign has been actively underway for the past two years, infecting systems en masse and actively spreading by way of EternalBlue.”