Cybersecurity roundup: March 4 to 10, 2018

This week saw a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that blew last week's massive 1.35 Tbps attack against Github into the water.

Meanwhile, outside cyberspace, cybercriminals are now stealing computers in order to acquire new cryptocurrency mining tech for their nefarious enterprises. 

These stories and more on this week's Cybersecurity Roundup!

World's largest DDoS attack now at 1.7 Tbps

Hackers attempted a 1.7 Tbps distributed denial of service attack against a US-based service provider, though it was mitigated by Arbor Networks, a DDoS protection service.

This new attack, like the attack against Github the week prior, took advantage of unprotected memcached server technology to amplify the data sent.

More than 10,000 memcached DDoS Attacks Hit 7,100 Sites the past week

Netlab360 reported an astounding rise in the number of memcached-type DDoS attacks in recent days. The number has grown from less than 50 attacks daily to nearly 2,000 attacks daily against around 7,100 target IP addresses around the world.

Aside from Github and the unnamed service mentioned by Arbor Networks above, other targets included big names like Google, Sony's PlayStation division, security companies Avast and Kaspersky, and Pornhub.

Thieves steal 600 cryptomining computers in Iceland

Around 600 computers used to mine bitcoin were stolen in Iceland in a series of large-scale heists in December and January, police said on Wednesday, March 7.

The thefts, police say, could be linked to organized crime. Two Icelanders have been detained for suspected involvement in the theft.

Some countries' ISPs are injecting spyware, cryptocurrency miners into users' computers

Citizen Lab reported some countries were using Sandvine/Procera Networks Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) devices to deliver nation-state malware in Turkey and indirectly into Syria.

They also found Egypt was using the same technology to raise money quietly by sending users to sites with affiliate ads or to redirect users to content with cryptocurrency mining scripts.

COINCHECK. Koichiro Wada (L), president of Japan's virtual currency exchange Coincheck, and board member Yusuke Otsuka bow at the beginning of a press conference in Tokyo on March 8, 2018. Photo by Toru Yamanaka/AFP

COINCHECK. Koichiro Wada (L), president of Japan's virtual currency exchange Coincheck, and board member Yusuke Otsuka bow at the beginning of a press conference in Tokyo on March 8, 2018.

Photo by Toru Yamanaka/AFP

Following hacks, Japan punishes FSHO, Bit Station cryptocurrency exchanges

Japanese authorities on Thursday, March 8, ordered two cryptocurrency exchanges to suspend operations for a month as part of a clampdown following a massive hack that saw thieves steal hundreds of millions of dollars in virtual currency.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) said it ordered FSHO and Bit Station, exchanges based in Yokohama and Nagoya, to temporarily halt their operations  from Thursday. The agency alleged that FSHO "does not have a proper system to monitor trading and has not given training to its employees," while an employee of Bit Station "diverted digital currency deposited by clients for his personal use."

Authorities also ordered 5 other exchanges, including Coincheck, to improve their business practices. Rappler.com