Before even the dust of the fake adobe flash updates has been used to push malware settles, cybercriminals have unleashed terror on the network of a university in Canada. St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia system was the playground for a cryptojacking excise that led to the university pulling down its network.
Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for computing power to use, mine cryptocurrency and for St. Francis Xavier University it provides the perfect ground. According to Globalnews.ca the cryptojacking incidence started on November 1 and went on for four days. But immediately the university detected the malware the whole network was pulled down. On its website the university said;
“On Thursday our security experts in consultation with security specialists pulled down our entire network after we detected an automated cryptocoin mining attack on our system. Through the attack, the perpetrators were hoping to utilize StFX’s collective computing power to mine cryptocurrency for monetary gains. Although there is no physical evidence that any personal information was lost, ITS will continue to scrutinize the network for any malicious activity.”
When security experts at the university pulled the entire network offline, all of the university’s services were affected. In detail, the university’s Wi-Fi, debit transactions, email services, cloud storage, online course system, MesAmis and banner aren’t available. Although these services are offline, the university is bringing back the services online one by one. Through the latter approach, they are minimizing on risks in case there is a re occurrence of attacks. But at the moment some of the services that are available include debit transactions, DCB, Moodle, and Wi-Fi. As the security experts work to restore all services, a link containing services available will be shared when ready.
Due to the attack, the university is urging its users to reset their passwords to protect the integrity of the system. To enable users to reset their passwords easily, StFX’s has provided a link together with a guide to offer assistance in case of any difficulty. Alternatively, users can visit the StFX centre in Angus L. MacDonald Library for assistance.
Cryptojacking attacks have increased significantly in the past. According to McAfee Labs 86% of the attack are of cryptojacking origin. With such a high number of cryptojacking attacks, the attacks are becoming a major threat. Besides StFX, the Indian government was also a victim of a cryptojacking attacks. Some of its municipal government was affected.