Crypto-jacking: A hidden cost for your company
After gaining momentum in mid-2017, we have seen a worldwide boom of digital crypto-currencies like Bitcoin. Crypto-currencies have become synonymous with Ransomware attacks, but now cyber criminals have discovered another way to make money, mining crypto-currencies.
Crypto-mining is no easy feat, requiring immense computing power to be successful. This is due in part to blockchain technology that is the cornerstone of crypto-currencies' impenetrable defence and anonymity, using complex algorithms to create and authenticate the currency.
The kind of computing power hackers need to solve these algorithms and successfully mine crypto-currencies is the equivalent of that of large technology companies. To gather that much power, cyber criminals are using malware to hack into devices and use them to trawl the Web, consuming their resources to mine crypto-currencies.
To shed more light on this new threat, Panda Security compiled the report: Cryptojacking: A Hidden Cost.
Cyber criminals can use a number of attack methods to get into your device virtually unnoticed, including infected Web sites, unpatched vulnerabilities, phishing and unsecured IOT devices.
How will you know if your device has been compromised?
One of the first indications of crypto-jacking malware infection is unusually high electricity consumption. Users should also take note of a serious slowdown of the device.
How can you protect against crypto-jacking?
"The kinds of advanced cyber threats we face today have the potential to cripple organisations. To combat these threats, business leaders need to develop a comprehensive cyber-security strategy that includes next-generation EDR (endpoint detection and response) technology to provide visibility and control of the network, as well as developing policies and procedures that govern user behaviour," says Jeremy Matthews, Regional Manager at Panda Security Africa.
The experts at PandaLabs, Panda Security's malware research facility, shared the following tips for protecting against crypto-jacking:
* Carry out periodical risk evaluations to identify vulnerabilities;
* Analyse resources to make sure there is no unusual activity;
* Thoroughly investigating any spikes in IT problems related to unusual CPU performance;
* Careful with your browser. If you suspect that crypto-jacking is getting in via Web sites, install plugins to block these sites on your browser.
* Regularly update all the company's devices and systems.
Matthews will speak at the ITWeb Security Summit, in May, sharing his insights into how EDR technology can be used to protect organisations against advanced threats, the different approaches to EDR, and how to decide which approach is best for your organisation.
The ITWeb Security Summit is southern Africa's definitive conference and expo for information security, IT and business professionals. This year, over 70 expert speakers will deliver key insights across seven tracks, including workshops and training courses during the expanded five-day event. The ITWeb Security Summit will be staged at Vodacom World, Midrand, from 22-23 May; and CTICC Cape Town on 29 May. Focused and interactive workshops as well as in-depth training courses will be run in the days around the main conference and exhibition.
For more information, go to www.securitysummit.co.za.
For information on Security Summit Cape Town, go to http://v2.itweb.co.za/event/itweb/security-summit-ct-2018/