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Transneft Claims Computers Were Used for Mining Cryptocurrency



The world’s largest oil pipeline operator is claiming that it had some of its computer systems affected by cryptocurrency mining malware.

A report claims Russian pipeline giant Transneft had to remove malware from its systems that covertly mined the cryptocurrency monero.

Monero is a rival to Bitcoin, which is the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrencies enable individuals to transfer value to each other and pay for goods and services bypassing banks and the mainstream financial system.

It’s vague how many computers were affected, a senior Transneft official referenced multiple “incidents” during which the malware was discovered.

Software for mining cryptocurrency were automatically downloaded from the web by a Transneft computer and was then deleted, divulged spokesman Igor Demin.

“Incidents where the company’s hardware was used to manufacture cryptocurrency have been found.

“It could have a negative impact on the productivity of our processing capacity,” said Transneft vice-president Vladimir Rushailo.

Transneft announced that it has made moves to improve its cybersecurity systems.

This is in order to keep those kinds of malware from being downloaded onto its computer systems.

The pipeline company is one of the most high-profile firms to date to be affected by the malware.

The malware effectively functions in the background of a computer and uses spare capacity to mine cryptocurrencies.

Other Prominent Websites Affected

Several prominent websites have been affected in recent months.

These include a pay-per-view platform for Ultimate Fighting Challenge and an on-demand video service run by Showtime.

According to a cybersecurity report published in October, the CoinHive monero mining software became the sixth-most malware that month.

According to an industry expert, it is a possibility that hackers would use corporate hardware to generate virtual currencies in the future.

“More and more people have learnt that, in fact, they do not even need to stand up from the sofa to make money - if they are not caught”, said Pavel Lutsik, a head of information security projects with Croc IT firm.

Under Russian law, a person that would hack corporate servers can face up to six years in jail.

Lutsik commented that this would likely be extended to 10 years in 2018.

Russia’s central bank has remarked there were risks that cryptocurrencies could be used for money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

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