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IT Security Update: Cryptojacking

What is Cryptojacking?

The National Cyber Security Centre’s report on ‘The Cyber Threat to UK Business’ identifies cryptojacking as an emerging threat.  Cryptojacking has already impacted on an estimated 55% of businesses worldwide. The name is play on the Americanism ‘car-jacking’ but instead of your car being stolen your computing processing power is the criminals target of choice.

The recent dramatic surge in value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero has likely fuelled the parallel rise in cryptojacking.  It aims to which harness unsuspecting users computing power for the sole purpose of ‘mining’ cryptocurrencies.

While cryptojacking itself is not new, its latest incarnation as code embedded in web-browsers is a significant development. Criminals infect a website with code which auto-executes once loaded on the victims’ browser. High profile web-sites including the UK Information Commissioners Office and Student Loans Company are recent victims.

Users browsing these legitimate sites become unknowing victims to this illicit crime. Often there is no outward sign that a users computer has been infected, decreasing performance and a rising electricity bill are most likely the only indicators that a cyber-crime is taking place. Criminals silently use the processing power to mine crypto-currency which they then sell for a profit.

Initially there is little impact on the victim however there are concerns that the criminals could easily adapt the code for a different purpose and potentially target your data, passwords etc.

What can you do to protect your business?

We recommends  multi-layered IT security strategy to our IT support customers in Glasgow and Edinburgh. A range of targeted and complimentary tools are essential to create a robust defence against new and emerging cyber security threats. Our consultants can complete an audit of your systems to identify if your system has been infiltrated and advise on both prevention and recovery.

We recommend the UK governments Cyber Essentials certification as a great first step towards ensuring your business is protected from basic cyber threats. Our consultants are ACE Practitioners; externally accredited as being qualified to support organisations through the Cyber Essentials certification process.

If you have concerns about Cryptojacking or questions about Cyber Essentials why don’t you contact us today for a no obligation discussion on your organisations IT security needs?

 

Red Mosquito Ltd provide Managed IT Support Services across Glasgow, Edinburgh and throughout Scotland.

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