Egyptian government 'hijacking citizens computers to mine crypto'
The Egyptian government has allegedly been infiltrating citizens' web browsers and directing them to other websites and misusing their computers, in some cases to mine cryptocurrencies.
According to a report from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, Egypt's government has been hijacking its citizens’ web browsers and sending them to obsolete websites or advertising sites were their computer will often be used to mine Monero coins.
Allegedly, the Adhose scheme operated via middleboxes, which are computer networking devices that manipulate internet traffic.
Users were directed “en masse” to cryptocurrency mining scripts which is known as ‘spray mode’ or they were redirected through specific websites in a ‘trickle mode’, the report said. Sites included pornographic and religious pages.
The university conducted a scan in January and found that 95% of 5,702 IP addresses were redirected to advertising sites.
The report also found similar activity coming from the Syrian and Turkish government. “In Egypt and Turkey, we also found that devices matching our Sandvine PacketLogic fingerprint were being used to block political, journalistic, and human rights content,” said the report.
The hijacking was also blocking users from accessing websites such as Al Jazeera, HuffPost Arabi and Reporters Without Borders.
In Turkey and Syria, the middleboxes would redirect users attempting to download software on to a different version of the same software with spyware attached.