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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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Russia, North Korea and Iran are the most active in hacking financial institutions, while China is the most active in cyber espionage.
Hackers are usig new techniques to rob users' data and money. Wikimedia Commons
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  • 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

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Symantec Introduces ‘Email Threat Isolation ‘Technology to Block Email Attacks

The technology works by creating a secure remote execution environment between users and malicious content

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Threat Isolation Technology
Symantec Introduces Email Threat Isolation Technology. (IANS)

Cybersecurity giant Symantec Corp on Wednesday introduced a new solution based on threat isolation technology which blocks advanced email attacks on end user devices.

Named “Email Threat Isolation”, the solution helps protect users against spear phishing, credential theft, account takeover and ransomware attacks, the company said in a statement.

The email security solution with integrated threat isolation technology is designed to protect customers from the kind of sophisticated email attacks that have become more prevalent in the Cloud generation.

“Despite significant efforts by our industry to detect and block email-borne threats, messaging remains the primary vector for malware and scams within the enterprise,” said Greg Clark, Symantec CEO.

Threat Isolation Technology
Symantec Introduces Email Threat Isolation Technology. Flickr

“This revolutionary technology helps enterprises to quickly and easily isolate all malicious email content — both internal and external — to substantially reduce inherent risks within messaging applications,” Clark said.

The technology works by creating a secure remote execution environment between users and malicious content.

It sends web traffic from suspicious links to this remote environment, which confines all malicious activity, and only sends a safe visual representation of the content down to the user.

In addition, this solution can render such sites in read-only mode which prevents unsuspecting employees from disclosing sensitive information such as corporate credentials, according to Symantec.

Also Read-India Among Nations Most Prone To Cyber Attacks

“Further, because the technology is Cloud-based, organisations can be up and running quickly and easily, reducing stress on already taxed IT teams,” Clark added. (IANS)