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Hacker gains access to Hewlett-Packard 9000 EPYC server hardware to mine the cryptocurrency Raptoreum using Java exploit

Hacker uses LOG4J to exploit servers to mine raptoreum

Hacker gains access to Hewlett-Packard 9000 EPYC server hardware to mine the cryptocurrency Raptoreum using a Java exploit known as Log4J

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, December 23, 2021 / -- A hacker gained access to Hewlett-Packard 9000 EPYC server hardware to mine the cryptocurrency Raptoreum using Java exploit Log4J. Log4j is a vulnerability in Java that permits remote code execution, giving attackers authority to run programs within the host computer they have entered. Although the Java exploit has now been mostly patched, administrators who fail to update their servers will continue to be at risk. The exploit gained its notoriety from use in Minecraft servers, where it can completely control a computer with just a short string of text in the chat. Microsoft has also recently claimed that state-funded hackers from China, Turkey, Iran, and North Korea have been deploying a variety of malware in order to mine cryptocurrencies and gain access to valuable information. Vendors such as Cisco, VMWare, Amazon, IBM, Fortinet, Microsoft, Splunk, Sophos, Red Hat and some of the other largest enterprise technology providers in the world have claimed attacks.

On December 9 2021, a lead developer of Raptoreum noticed abnormalities in the network hash rate and detected this inconsistency through the use of the Raptoreum Blockchain, a publicly available digital ledger that documents all transactions being made through the network. He states :

"Raptoreum’s total network hash rate had increased over the past few weeks, but out of nowhere, it increased from 200 MH/S to 400MH/S with a single address contributing an additional 100 - 200MH/S to the Raptoreum network. During the attack, many servers were breached, each outputting a significant amount of hash power on very high-end server equipment. Very few organizations in the world have their hands on this kind of hardware, making it extremely unlikely that the attack was done using the individual’s own hardware. Through a private investigation, there is now strong evidence that suggests Hewlett-Packard 9000 EPYC server hardware was being used to mine Raptoreum coins. We discovered that the miners they were using were all given HP nicknames and were all stopped abruptly which fortifies speculation of a company breach, followed by a patch of the servers. The Log4J Raptoreum mining exploit started December 9th until it mostly ended on December 17th. During this period hackers were able to collect approximately 30% of the total block reward which is roughly 3.4 million Raptoreum RTM, worth around $110,000 USD as of 12/21/2021. Although activity has dropped considerably, it is actively mining to this day on what still looks to be a single premium machine which has failed to patch."

Sources show that roughly 1.5 million of the mined Raptoreum coins have been sold on the CoinEx cryptocurrency exchange to date, while 1.7 million RTM currently remain in a wallet. With a 40% increase in value during the exploit, it appears that the dumping of the coins had little negative effect in the short term for the project. Distributed networks such as Raptoreum, secured through mining, node integrity, and free market perseverance, are able to resist individuals with a plethora of stolen server equipment. Other coins might not be so lucky depending on the spirit of their communities and the depth of their market volume.

The Raptoreum project states that it is an ASIC/FPGA resistant Proof Of Work/Proof of Stake hybrid Cryptocurrency with 51% double spend attack resistance and is taking Ethereum head on with aims to solve many of its pitfalls. Due to the way the Raptoreum based 'Ghostrider' algorithm works, it favours heavily on the hashing power of everyday CPU's with a preference towards the AMD Ryzen brand due to its large on board L3 cache. It was previously reported that world wide demand for mining the RTM coin created a temporary shortage in the availability of powerful Ryzen processors driving prices to levels unseen and outraging gamers around the world who rely on powerful processors for smooth gameplay.

As more powerful processors are due to be released from manufacturers such as AMD with its Threadripper 5000 series slated for release in March 2022, competition for mining the Raptoreum cryptocurrency is only set to increase. Also the desire for the release of its roadmap which aims to solve the scalability issues that many traditional blockchains are facing, has certainly got the attention of many in the space.

Paul Mills
The Core Administration
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