New H-Ant Ransomware Virus Affects Bitcoin ASIC Miners Threatening to Overheating
As cryptocurrencies expanded ransomware affecting crypto users around the world have also increased during the last years. The program H-Ant has infected several Antminer models in China. The attackers are asking for a ransom to be paid. If they do not pay, the machines could be destroyed by these hackers.
In order to keep exploiting the growing crypto market, attackers were able to create new ransomware that affects Bitcoin mining operations. In these attacks, victims have to pay a ransom in virtual currencies to avoid having their ASIC miners destroyed.
These attacks were discovered back in August 2018 by cybersecurity experts. Nevertheless, this way of stealing funds from users expanded this month. H-Ant can affect S9, T9 and L3 Antminers. There were some limited reports related to Canaan and Avalon miners affected as well.
As soon as the device is infected it would stop mining cryptocurrencies. Indeed, the funds they have stored will be seized and text will appear on the screen in English and Chinese.
As reported by news.bitcoin.com the ransomware note says:
“I am H-Ant. I will continue to attack your Antminer and as long as you spread the infected machine, my server verifies that there are 10 new IPs and the number of Antminers reaches 1,000 – I will then stop attacking you. I can also turn off your Antminer’s fan and overheat protection, which will cause you to burn your machine or can burn down the house.”
The H-Ant ransomware offers two options to the user, download the firmware patch for other machines to get infected or pay 10 BTC and stop the attack.
Apparently, the firmware has been infecting machines due to overlocking. Some mining pools tend to overlock their machines to increase the overall hash rate of their device, allowing them to behave in a better way. However, this is something that mining manufacturers do not recommend to do. This virus could have come from these overlocking firmware.
Although this could affect the normal operations of mining farms, the machine can be updated in just some hours installing a clean version of firmware. Thus, it is not necessary to pat the 10 BTC. Nevertheless, users need to lose time to update their affected machines.