Server Breach in Daejeon, South Korea: A Cryptocurrency Mining Scheme Uncovered

South Korea’s government servers became victims of cryptojacking as hackers used computation powers to mine cryptocurrency. Last year, there were at least 332 million cryptojacking incidents worldwide.

The crypto ecosystem indeed offers revolutionary technology with various applications. However, bad actors are also attracted to the crypto ecosystem as they conduct different types of sophisticated crimes.

How South Korea’s Servers Became Victims of Cryptojacking

According to a South Korean outlet, MBN, the bad actors accessed the passwords of Daejeon City’s administrator accounts. Then, the attacker infected the system with malware such that it can be used for crypto mining purposes.

Finally, during a government joint audit on June 2, 2023, it was discovered that the servers were infected with malware. Then, the city’s cyber department reported the incident to South Korea’s National Intelligence Services. 

Such attacks where victims’ devices are used to mine cryptocurrencies are called cryptojacking.

Read more: Free Cloud Mining Providers to Mine Bitcoin in 2024

In July last year, BeInCrypto reported that in 2023, the attack volume of cryptojacking volume soared past 332 million. The volume nearly tripled from 2022’s volume of over 139 million. 

Global Cryptojacking Volume by Year. Source: Sonicwall

Europol Nabs Mastermind

While the cryptojacking incidents were rampant in 2023, law enforcement agencies have had a significant breakthrough recently. 

Read more: 15 Most Common Crypto Scams To Look Out For

Europol reported collaborating with the Ukrainian National Police to arrest a 29-year-old individual. Allegedly, the individual mined over $2 million worth of cryptocurrencies through cryptojacking.

“The 29-year-old individual was apprehended in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, on 9 January. Three properties were searched to gather evidence against the main suspect. 

The arrest comes after months of intensive collaboration between Ukrainian authorities, Europol and a cloud provider, who worked tirelessly to identify and locate the individual behind the widespread cryptojacking operation,” said Europol.

On a separate note, Europol had various successful seizures of illicit crypto funds last year. For example, in March 2023, Europol seized nearly $50 million worth of Bitcoin in a joint operation against ChipMixer. 

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