Hackers Are Using the Bitcoin Blockchain to Secretly Communicate Find Researchers – Trustnodes

Hackers Are Using the Bitcoin Blockchain to Secretly Communicate Find Researchers

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Researchers at Sophos Labs have discovered what is thought to be the very first case of hijacking code using bitcoin’s blockchain to communicate with the command and control (C&C) center.

“Bitcoin ‘transactions’ don’t actually have to be about money – they can include a field called RETURN, also known as OP_RETURN, that is effectively a comment of up to 80 characters,” they say.

That’s exactly what the hackers did in this case (pictured above), with the return being an encrypted secret message that requires a 256-bit AES decryption key that’s coded into the the Glupteba malware program.

Bitcoin communicating hackers secret message, June 2020
Bitcoin communicating hackers secret message, June 2020

The wiz boys at Sophos have decrypted this to show a domain address, that being the command and control center hiding in plain sight.

“This sort of ‘hiding in plain sight’ is often referred to as steganography,” they say, with it unclear whether it was good to let hackers know because now they can put it in an image.

With all that skill however these hackers are wasting their talents because we need a lot of things to be built in this space with plenty of opportunities to make a lot of money without having to look over your shoulder.

So hopefully we’ll see a lot more good uses of these bitcoin secret messages, and not the stupid ones that waste hours of our time to reinstall grandma’s bugy Windows.

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