Interpol’s effort has proved to be fruitful as cryptojacking in South Asia saw a noticeable decline of 78 percent across six months.
Interpol successful in reducing cryptojacking
Cryptojacking appeared to be one of the most dangerous threats to cybersecurity in 2019. The frequency of such attacks and the intensity overtook ransomware during the year. The attack used 20,000 MikroTik routers to illegally mine crypto assets. The attacks bypassed MikroTik security by finding a weakness in the network and entered the devices affecting more than 100,000 routers worldwide.
Cryptojacking is a malware code that infects devices it interacts with. The malware stays hidden in the background and uses the computing power of the device to illegally mine crypto assets to generate income for the attackers. Since it can be detected easily, it is considered as less threatening than ransomware. However, it causes excessive electricity bills, loss in computing power, and can cause the device to damage due to over-exertion.
In some cases, the attack does not even affect the person’s device as websites can temporarily ‘borrow’ the device’s computing power to mine assets while the person is surfing the internet. If a device is heating quickly, or if the processes seem slower than before, then it might be worth getting the device checked.
As a result, Interpol began a highly coordinated operation against the attacks. The agency worked along with members of national police and Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) from ten nations, including Singapore and Malaysia, as well as members of the private sector. The participants were given detailed instructions for detecting and removing the malware from infected devices. The nations were also given advice on ways to improve their security.
Six months later, Interpol has revealed that the operation to reduce cryptojacking in the region was a huge success as the crime saw a decline of almost 80 percent in the last half of 2019.
Featured image by pixabay.