French Police Shut Down 850,000 Computer Botnet Used for Cryptojacking

BBC News reported the development on Aug. 27. According to the police, the botnet was distributed by sending virus-laden emails with offers for erotic pictures or fast cash, and further propogated through infected USB drives.

The virus, called Retadup, ultimately infected 850,000 computers in over 100 countries – thus creating a massive botnet. 

French police have shut down a massive botnet that has been used for Monero (XMR) cryptojacking.

Cryptojacking backed by “massive firepower”

The chief of C3N – the French police’s cybercrime unit – Jean-Dominique Nollet spoke on France Inter radio about the power of a botnet this size, saying:

“People may not realise it but 850,000 infected computers means massive firepower, enough to bring down all the (civilian) websites on the planet.”

Unknown hackers reportedly availed themselves of this large network to install a program to mine the security-focused cryptocurrency XMR without the users’ permission. Additionally, bad actors used the malicious network to extort money via ransomware, and also to steal data from Israeli hospitals and patients.

Additional details and aftermath

The French police were able to find the botnet’s server, which was located in Paris, and disinfect the hundreds of thousands of affected computers by redirecting the virus to a harmless destination on the internet with the help of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI.

However, the botnet operators have not been apprehended at the time of publication. They are reportedly believed to have made millions of dollars from illicit activities, which began back in 2016.

More XMR cryptojacking from France?

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the cybersecurity company Varonis recently discovered an unusually stealthy XMR miner that turns itself off whenever a user launches task manager. The researchers believe that this XMR miner also originates from France, or a French-speaking country. They based their hypothesis on the presence of French terms in the code, as well as French comments in the self-extracting archive file.

eToro launches #WelcomeToTheClub Premier League UK campaign

Global multi-asset investment platform eToro has launched eToro FC, a community for football fans interested in learning about cryptoassets and investing, as part of its new #WelcomeToTheClub Premier League campaign.

In August, eToro partnered with seven Premier League clubs in deals that were paid for using bitcoin. From today, eToro will work with those seven clubs (Cardiff City FC, Crystal Palace FC, Brighton & Hove Albion FC, Leicester City FC, Newcastle United FC, Southampton FC and Tottenham Hotspur) to help educate football fans on investing by providing educational materials, tutorials and market news. Members of the eToro FC community will also have access to unique football content and the ability to enter competitions.

Iqbal V. Gandham, UK Managing Director at eToro, said: “#WelcomeToTheClub will help educate football fans who are new to investing. We carried out our Premier League sponsorship deals using bitcoin as a first step in showing the role cryptoassets could play in global sport. We hope to continue this with information which enhances fans knowledge on the potential of cryptoassets along with investment in more traditional asset classes.”

Kicking off the campaign, the brand has signed up comedian and TV presenter Lloyd Griffith to front the video series, eToro Crypto Factor. This will see leading players from each partnered Premier League club taking on three football challenges which have similar traits to the world of investing.

Further club videos will be released throughout the season.

#WelcomeToTheClub branding will be seen throughout the Premier League with eToro incorporating the campaign across their club partnership rights including pitch LEDs, stadium advertising, social media and more.

Learn more about the investment community for the fans at #WelcomeToTheClub
About eToro:

eToro empowers people to invest on their own terms. The platform enables people to invest in the assets they want, from stocks and commodities to cryptoassets. eToro is a global community of more than ten million registered users who share their investment strategies; and anyone can follow the approaches of those who have been the most successful. Due to the simplicity of the platform users can easily buy, hold and sell assets, monitor their portfolio in real time, and transact whenever they want.

eToro is regulated in Europe by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

Cryptoassets are unregulated and can fluctuate widely in price and are, therefore, not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptoassets is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk.

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