Expert Reaction On Supercomputers Across Europe Infected with Cryptomining Malware

Multiple supercomputers across Europe have been infected with cryptocurrency mining malware and have shut down to investigate the intrusions, according to ZDNet. Security incidents have been reported in the UK, Germany, and Switzerland, while a similar intrusion is rumoured to have also happened at a high-performance computing centre located in Spain.  The first report of an attack came to light last Monday from the University of Edinburgh, which runs the ARCHER supercomputer. The organization reported “security exploitation on the ARCHER login nodes,” shut down the ARCHER system to investigate, and reset SSH passwords to prevent further intrusions.


EXPERTS COMMENTS
Dr. Anton Grashion, EMEA Director ,  Corelight
May 19, 2020
Open source tools like Zeek provide security teams with the sort of actionable data they need to monitor the security posture.
Protecting supercomputers and data centres is no trivial task, especially when they are used for mathematical modelling and scientific work, which require a great deal of collaboration and, consequently, data flow. The scale of this mission requires leading-edge performance in computing, storage, and networking. This is true for supercomputing services such as the UK’s ARCHER, but also for all n ....
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Jamie Akhtar, CEO and Co-founder,  CyberSmart
May 18, 2020
Universities are home to some of the most advanced research projects in the world across many disciplines- including computer science.
These incidents raise the very serious concern of cybersecurity in institutes of higher education where a lot of this cutting-edge research is taking place. Universities are home to some of the most advanced research projects in the world across many disciplines- including computer science- but they are also notoriously vulnerable to attack if they are connected to the wider university network. La ....
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Javvad Malik, Security Awareness Advocate,  KnowBe4
May 18, 2020
Criminals wanted to gain access to these supercomputers to mine cryptocurrency.
It's unclear as to what these incidents relating to HPC's are. However, it would not be surprising to discover that criminals wanted to gain access to these supercomputers to mine cryptocurrency, or engage in other malicious activity. The digital and connected nature of today's world means that every endpoint, device, network segment, infrastructure, and information is a resource that some crimi ....
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Jake Moore, Cybersecurity Specialist,  ESET
May 18, 2020
Once a list of credentials is compromised, it is a race against time to have these reset.
Supercomputers are lucrative targets for threat actors due to the sheer amount of money they can yield via mining. Regular PCs simply can’t mine digital currencies anywhere near the rate at which supercomputers can. What’s interesting about this is that it seems hackers have targeted the supercomputers completely remotely for the first time, as before there has always been an insider who insta ....
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