Canadian University Shuts Down Entire Network After Mining Attack

Published on by Cryptoslate | Published on

Its entire computer network for four days due to an attempted mining attack.

St. Francis Xavier, a Canadian university, shuts down its IT network to deal with a cryptocurrency mining malware infectionhttps://t.

"On Thursday, ITS, in consultation with security specialists, purposefully disabled all network systems in response to what we learned to be to be an automated attack on our systems known as 'crytpocoin mining.'".

The breach interfered with access to email accounts, WiFi, debit transactions, online courses, and storage drives hosted on the school's network comprised of 150 servers, according to Canadian news outlet CBC.An Ongoing Cyber ThreatA spokesperson for the university said they'd never seen a cyberattack like this before, but it marks the latest in a string of attempts to hijack the computing power of others and bend it toward mining crypto.

In most cases, crypto-jacking of host computers occurs via phishing schemes designed to covertly install illicit mining malware on unsuspecting machines.

CryptoSlate reported in September that hackers were using the Eternal Blue vulnerability in old Windows systems to illicitly mine Monero.

Old systems go unpatched or without important security updates.

Institutions like this with large networks make attractive targets for crypto-jackers, as they stand to gain more computing power from a single attack.

For its part, the university says it will be stepping up its security measures.

"We will be investigating opportunities like increasing our sensitivity settings within our security systems," said St. Francis Xavier spokesperson MacKenzie in an interview with CBC. "We'll also be looking into taking old systems offline."