Researchers have developed a simple and effective way to deal with hidden mining

A group of researchers from the Los Alamos laboratory, where the nuclear bomb was once developed, created a system to combat the theft of supercomputer power for the sake of cryptocurrency mining. It works on the basis of artificial intelligence. Thanks to this, experts claim that they have found a better way to combat hacker attacks on supercomputers than all the existing systems of protection against cyber threats.

Лос-Аламосская национальная лаборатория широко известна благодаря своей роли в истории человечества. Именно её сотрудники были конструкторами двух атомных бомб — под кодовыми именами "Малыш" и "Толстяк" — которые сбросили на Хиросиму и Нагасаки в августе 1945 года.

The laboratory is also active today. Moreover, it is a major employer and employs thousands of people. The Los Alamos Laboratory is one of only two locations in the United States where covert research on nuclear weapons is conducted. Judging by the news, the employees of the latter also have time in other niches.

Hidden mining won't work

The supercomputer is a very attractive medium for Bitcoin mining, as it has enormous power by the standards of modern computing equipment. Such machines are used for complex calculations in various fields of science and engineering, but recently supercomputers have become illegal to use for mining cryptocurrencies.

Their power is "stolen" by hidden mining . Attackers mine the crypt without the knowledge of the supercomputer operators, which ultimately leads to losses. That is, the money spent on equipment maintenance, in fact, goes to finance the activities of hackers .

supercomputer cryptocurrency mining

Supercomputer Summit, created by the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in partnership with American companies IBM and Nvidia Corporation

Отметим, что скрытый майнинг на суперкомпьютерах — не новость. В частности, сотрудники российского федерального ядерного центра (РФЯЦ) в Сарове решили проделать подобное ещё в 2018 году. Об этой ситуации мы писали в отдельном материале .

A decision from the Los Alamos researchers should put an end to this. The principle of operation of their system using artificial intelligence is published in an article entitled "Characterization of the code using graph iterations and capsule networks . "

Conventional cyber defense systems are designed to look for malicious code on a supercomputer, that is, they analyze what the device is doing and signal any changes in its operation. This gives some degree of protection against hidden mining, but there are still security holes.

Разработка экспертов из Лос-Аламосской национальной лаборатории попросту "не разрешает" несанкционированным программам запуститься на суперкомпьютере. Нововведение использует другой подход: вместо поиска вредоносного кода система банально убеждается в том, что суперкомпьютер выполняет именно то, что должен, то есть как бы не сбивается с курс . Для надёжности весь этот процесс автоматически управляется искусственным интеллектом.

Here is a quote from Decrypt's research publication.

Instead of finding a match with a known malware, the system checks to see if the graph is among those that identify authorized programs to run on that hardware.

То есть система не тратит ценные ресурсы на поиски изменений в работе устройства. Вместо этого она следит за тем, чтобы последнее действовало в соответствии с планом. По сути это обратная схема анализа, однако она оказалась более эффективной. Как утверждают эксперты, "система обнаруживает вредоносных криптовалютных майнеров намного быстрее и надёжнее, чем это происходит при обычном анализе, не связанным с искусственным интеллектом".

Google Quantum Computer

Google Quantum Computer

Борьба со скрытым майнингом — важный шаг в "очищении" репутации криптоиндустрии в глазах обычных людей. Хоть эта процедура и не приносит прямого вреда жертве хакера, она все равно становится причиной убытков в виде счетов за электричество.

We believe that a new approach to identifying hidden mining activity on computers can help ordinary people too. The main thing is that software developers adapt the scheme for their own products as soon as possible and share updates with users. In this case, the number of victims of stealthy cryptocurrency mining will clearly decrease.

What do you think about this? Share your opinion in our crypto chat . We are also waiting for you in Yandex Zen , where there are publications that are not on the site.


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