Tuesday March 26, 2019
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Hackers ditch ransomware attacks, move to cryptojacking: Symantec

Mobile users also face privacy risks from grayware apps that are not completely malicious but can be troublesome

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Hackers threaten to reveal 'secret' data linked to 9/11 attacks. Wikimedia Commons
  • Hackers are no more using ransomware attacks
  • They are now cryptojacking
  • India is the second largest Asian country which witness this

When it comes to increased cryptojacking activities, India is second in the Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) region and ninth globally as hackers create a highly-profitable, new revenue stream with crypto-mining, cyber security giant Symantec said on Wednesday.

According to Symantec’s “Internet Security Threat Report”, detection of coinminers on endpoint computers increased by a whopping 8,500 per cent in 2017.

cryptocurrency dealer Pluto Exchange on Thursday announced the launch of mobile application for transacting in VC. Wikimedia Commons
Coinmining is taking place in high number. Wikimedia Commons

“Cryptojacking is a rising threat to cyber and personal security,” Tarun Kaura, Director, Enterprise Security Product Management, APJ at Symantec, said in a statement. “The massive profit incentive puts people, devices and organizations at risk of unauthorised coinminers siphoning resources from their systems, further motivating criminals to infiltrate everything from home PCs to giant data centers,” Kaura added.

Cryptojacking is defined as the secret use of a computing device to mine cryptocurrency. With a low barrier of entry cybercriminals are harnessing stolen processing power and cloud CPU usage from consumers and enterprises to mine cryptocurrency. Coinminers can slow devices, overheat batteries and in some cases, render devices unusable. For enterprise organisations, coinminers can put corporate networks at risk of shutdown and inflate cloud CPU usage, adding to the cost.

Also Read: From paper to plastic to Bitcoins: Changing money with time

“Now you could be fighting for resources on your phone, computer or Internet of Things (IoT) device as attackers use them for profit. People need to expand their defenses or they will pay for the price for someone else using their device,” Kaura added.

Symantec found 600 per cent increase in overall IoT attacks in 2017. India today ranks among the top five countries as a source for IoT attacks. The firm also identified a 200 per cent increase in attackers injecting malware implants into the software supply chain in 2017.

Hacking puts a lot of things at risk. VOA

Threats in the mobile space continue to grow year-over-year, including the number of new mobile malware variants which increased by 54 per cent. Mobile users also face privacy risks from grayware apps that are not completely malicious but can be troublesome. Symantec found that 63 per cent of grayware apps leak the device’s phone number.

In 2017, the average ransom cost lowered to $522. “Several cyber criminals may have shifted their focus to coin mining as an alternative to cashing in while cryptocurrency values are high,” the report noted. IANS

Next Story

Hackers Win Tesla Car For Exposing System Error

The EV-maker was fairly quick to fix vulnerabilities exposed by white hat hackers

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Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

Electric Vehicle (EV)-maker Tesla had to give away one of their Model 3 cars and $35,000 prize money to a group of hackers after they managed to crack its system during a hacking event.

Amat Cama and Richard Zhu of team Fluoroacetate exposed a vulnerability in the vehicle system during the Pwn2Own 2019 hacking competition, organised by Trend Micro’s “Zero Day Initiative (ZDI)”, held here this week.

The hackers targeted the infotainment system on the Tesla Model 3 and used a “JIT bug in the renderer” to take control of the system, Electrek reported on Saturday.

Charging problems with electric car
Tesla cars recharge at a Tesla station at a shopping center in Charlotte, N.C., June 24, 2017. Buyers of Tesla’s luxury models have access to a company-funded Supercharger network. VOA

“Since launching our bug bounty programme in 2014, we have continuously increased our investments into partnerships with security researchers to ensure that all Tesla owners constantly benefit from the brightest minds in the community,” the report quoted David Lau, Vice President of Vehicle Software at Tesla as saying.

Also Read- Smokers Notice Health Warnings More on Plain-Packaged Cigarettes

As part of Tesla’s bug bounty programme, the company had given away hundreds of thousands of dollars in rewards to hackers who exposed vulnerabilities in its systems.

The EV-maker was fairly quick to fix vulnerabilities exposed by white hat hackers, the report said. (IANS)