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by Liam Kelly In a growing development, attackers have leveraged an exploit found in almost all generations of Microsoft Windows.

EternalBlue is a security vulnerability that allowed WannaCry to run rampant in over 150 different countries and took down parts of the National Health Service (NHS), as well as Petya/NonPetya (a strain of ransomware that inspired NATO to assemble an entire cyber operation to combat it). The newest malware continues to capitalize on the vulnerability and in many cases can take over nearly 100 percent of users CPU.

While WannaMine was discovered by Pandalabs and reported on October 30, 2017, the growing popularity in cryptocurrencies has exposed more attack vectors since then. In this attempt, victims’ CPU are hijacked by WannaMine and used to harvest the privacy-centric cryptocurrency Monero.

Identifying an infection is equally tricky as minor symptoms simply slow down processing speeds. In more extreme cases, and if gone unchecked, whole businesses can be shut down.

In a related blog post, the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike explained that a client reported that “nearly 100 percent of [their] environment was rendered unusable due to overutilization of systems’ CPU.” An ideal attack vector thus sees WannaMine move from one individual computer all the way through corporate networks. From here, industrial servers can be taken over to mine Monero and slow whole companies down to a standstill. Read more from…

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