Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has uncovered a vulnerability in the Telegram desktop app which allows the social messaging app to be exploited for mining cryptocurrencies.
In a statement, Kaspersky says the zero-day vulnerability provides a backdoor that “has been actively exploited since March 2017 for the cryptocurrency mining functionality.” It adds that they had notified Telegram of the vulnerability and “at the time of publication, the zero-day flaw has not since been observed in [the] messenger’s products.”
UPair One Drone with 2.7K HD Camera, 5.8G FPV Monitor Transmit Live Video, 2.4G Remote Controller, GPS Auto Return Function, a key to Return, Beginners Quadcopter Drone£299.00 Add to cart
Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Elite Edition Quadricopter£107.99 – £407.82 Select options
KINGBOT Mini Foldable RC Drone with with HD 720P Camera FPV VR Wifi RC Quadcopter Remote Control
£42.99Add to cart
Drone, Potensic® F181DH RC Quadcopter RTF Altitude Hold UFO with Newest Hover Function, 2MP HD Camera, 5.8Ghz FPV LCD Screen Monitor& 3D Flips Function – Red
£119.99Add to cart
Drone with HD Camera, Potensic® Wireless RC Quadcopter Drone with 120 Degree Wide-Angle 720P HD Camera Altitude Hold One Button Take off Function£49.99 Add to cart
Research conducted by Kaspersky showed that the zero-day flaw was based on the RLO (right-to-left override) Unicode method, which is generally used for coding languages written from right to left, such as Arabic and Hebrew. However, it can also be used by hackers to dupe unknowing recipients into downloading malware, for example disguised as images.
Kaspersky analysts identified “several scenarios of zero-day exploitation in the wild by threat actors.” The threats identified were two-fold. First, the exploit was used to deliver mining software, allowing hackers to use the victim’s machine to mine cryptocurrency including “Monero, Zcash, Fantomcoin and others.”
Second, a backdoor was installed allowing cybercriminals to gain remote access to the victim’s computer after which it started to “operate in a silent mode,” allowing “the threat actor to remain unnoticed in the network and execute different commands, including the further installation of spyware tools.”
Kaspersky says its analysis suggests the cybercriminals are of Russian origin, and the company has offered some tips to protect your PC against attack. These include not downloading and opening unknown files from untrusted sources, avoiding sharing sensitive personal information in messenger apps and making sure to have reliable antivirus software installed on your machine.