Computer security is an important factor when it comes to using Bitcoin and other digital currencies. But what if its not just our personal computers we have to worry about? Not to mention the fact hackers have successfully been able to install malware on computers in order to let other people “mine” Bitcoin or other currencies for them.
One of those cases originated in the Netherlands, where Computerworld launched an investigation into the possibility of showroom model computers containing malware. An anonymous hacker put Computerworld on this trail after infecting multiple machines.
One of Saturn’s computer stores had been infected with malware used to mine Bitcoins. No less than 105 showroom models were infected, generating a total of EUR500 worth of Bitcoin in a few months, which was never detected by the store itself.
Most of the current showroom model computers aren’t even running an antivirus program, making malware undetectable and unblockable. As a result of this investigation, computers stores are now tightening security in order to block these malware installations.
According to people high up the Saturn/Mediamarkt food chain, the main reason for these issues is because of insufficient/incompetent management in local stores. Internal talks between management and suppliers will take place in order to create new security protocols for show room model computers.
“Delivery and installation of showroom models takes place after consultation between the suppliers and stores. If there is a security issue, something has to change in that regard specifically. New security protocols will be implemented wherever necessary.”
-Rob Okhuijsen, PR- and Crisis Manager Media-Saturn Netherlands
It is interesting to note very few stores use all of the security tools at their disposal. Kiosk Mode for example only allows for users to run select applications. Other than that, there are several other tools which would benefit from a security protocol upgrade.
“Disabling malware on showroom model computers is quite easy actually. Start by disabling internet access, block the automatic output of files through the USB connections and format all hard drives at night.”
-Anonymous hacker responsible for the malware installations
Unfortunately for stores, having internet access enabled on showroom model computers is pretty much required. When someone is looking to purchase a new computer, they want to be able to get the full user experience before deciding. Internet is an integral part of that experience.
“We will train our staff to keep an eye out when people are using showroom model computers from now on. Kiosk Mode will be installed on all of our devices over the span of the next two months, thanks to a partnership with Intel and Microsoft. Further security measures will be discussed as well.”
-Lub ten Napel, CIO of BAS Group (owner of MyCom, a chain of computer stores)
Source (Dutch) :