From bitcoin, the next coin with the highest price is Ethereum. This is shifting the taste of hackers from just hacking bitcoin accounts but also Ethereum accounts. The hackers are now targeting Ethereum miners who are not taking the time to secure the communication port used by their mining equipment and wallet.
Hackers have set off in motion a massive campaign that scans for Internet-exposed Ethereum wallets and mining equipment. Attackers are scanning for devices with port 8545exposed online. This is the standard port for the JSON-RPC interface of many Ethereum wallets and mining equipment. This interface is a programmatic API that locally-installed apps and services can query for mining and funds-related information.
The JSON-RPC interface does not have a default password requiring a user a set one upon activation. If Ethereum miners forget to set the password or overlook the need for one, and the wallet and or mining rig is connected to the internet,the hackers send commands through the port and they “move funds from the victims’ Ethereum addresses.”
This vulnerability was first exposed by Ethereum developers in 2015 and they advised all Ethereum miners and Wallet users to either activate a password for the port or pass all incoming traffic to port through a firewall.
Since 2015, manufacturers and vendors of mining rigs and Ethereum wallets have been cautious about activating the interface. However, the process did not cut across all vendors and developers leaving some Ethereum miners still exposed to the hackers.
According to Qihoo, a cyber-security firm in China, in June, hackers used this tactic to steal Ethereum worth more than 20 U.S dollars. The firm noted that the hackers increased their activity when the price of Ethereum reached more than 1000 U.S dollars.
ZDNet continued to note that:
Despite the price of cryptocurrency crashing into the gutter, free money is still free,even if it’s pennies a day.
Therefore, since Ethereum miners are always hooked on the internet, they should take sometime and reassess the securing of the 8545 port.
Do you think more Ethereum wallets could be compromised seeing that some miners are not tech-savvy?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.