For the past month or so, one of the main Russian-language forums on the darknet has been running a competition, in which participants submit unusual ways of carrying out cyberattacks against cryptocurrency technology - including ways of stealing encryption keys and digital wallets, hacking of mining software and more. This, according to a report by cyber intelligence company Intel471. The Hacker News website reported that the competition is expected to end in September with the declaration of the winner, who will receive a prize of $115,000.
"So far, the top candidates (according to forum member voting) include topics like generating a fake blockchain front-end website that captures sensitive information such as private keys and balances, creating a new cryptocurrency blockchain from scratch, increasing the hash rate speed of mining farms and botnets, and demonstrating a custom tool that parses logs for cryptocurrency artifacts from victim machines," said Michael DeBolt, Intel 471's Senior Vice President of Global Intelligence, in an interview with the website.
"Forums not only serve as a marketplace, but also usher in and foster new innovations and cutting edge approaches that do not need to get bureaucratic approval before being used to carry out crimes," according to the Intel471 blog, which said is not the first time that there has been this kind of contest, which brings together malicious actors who are more nimble than organizations that need to overcome various hurdles in order to establish defenses.
"Attack surfaces will grow as the technology stack around cryptocurrency and decentralized finance continues to grow. As these services come online, businesses need to proactively watch the underground in order to strategize for how criminals may target their business-critical functions with information from contests, like the one discovered above, to devastate their organization."