Security researchers at the University of Toronto stated in a new report that the Egyptian government or entities linked to it has secretly hacked local computers to mine cryptocurrency.
The researchers called this kind of intrusion by a nation “the stuff of legends” since it is very difficult to detect the processes involved.
The security researchers at the Citizen’s Lab foud out a scheme that was redirecting Egyptian internet users’ web traffic to malware that was using their computers to mine the cryptocurrency Monero. They called this scheme “AdHose” and it relies on hardware in the Egyptian internet network.
According to Quartz,
“The scheme was used in two ways. In “spray” mode, any website that affected users tried to visit would redirect their browsers to either an ad network or cryptocurrency mining malware called Coinhive. The alternative is “trickle” mode, which redirects web traffic only when users visit particular site.”
AdHose was implemented by a hardware that can also work as a censorship tool. The researchers also found similar frauds in Turkey and Syria. However, instead of using the computers to mine cryptocurrencies, while users thought they were downloading a safe anti-virus, their computers were infected with spyware.
The ones responsible for uncovering this scheme is a Canadian agency called Sandvine, and the researchers mentioned that when the firm was notified, it mentioned the report was “false, misleading, and wrong”.