According to Kaspersky’s latest statistics for Southeast Asian SMEs in Q1 this year, over a million crypto-mining attempts were foiled against devices of businesses — a 12% increase compared with 949,592 mining incidents blocked in the same period last year.
The total number of miners detected in the first three months of 2020 is also significantly more than the 834,993 phishing attempts and 269,204 ransomware detections against SMEs in the region.
Malicious mining, also known as cryptojacking, happens when cybercriminals install a malicious program on the target computer or by means of fileless malware without the user’s knowledge.
As a result, this allows them to harness the victim’s processing power for their own nefarious purposes. Cryptojacking has also been known to occur when a victim visits a site that has a mining script embedded in the browser.
Kaspersky’s data further revealed that Indonesia and Vietnam were among the countries in Southeast Asia and globally with the highest number of mining attempts against SMBs. Most of the six countries in the region, except the Philippines and Thailand, have also recorded an increase in terms of this malware’s detection in the first quarter of 2020.
“Malicious mining attacks continue to remain as a widely underreported area of cyberthreats to SMEs. In this age where we are well acquainted with the infamous examples of data breaches, it is natural for us to pool our resources together and deal with ransomware and large-scale phishing attacks. However, this is not the case when it comes to cryptomining,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.
“As the symptoms and consequences of malicious mining are less obvious and less immediate than ransomware and phishing attacks, it’s easy for SMEs to disregard it as a mere technical issue. However, its aftermath is costly in the long run. The rapid increase of cryptojacking incidents in the region should be a wakeup call for enterprises in all shapes and forms. Cybercriminals are doing this attack because it is profitable, it is high time that we acknowledge this and improve our defenses against it,” he added.
In essence, some signs that may point towards devices being used for crypto-mining:
To proactively safeguard your business against malicious mining, here’s what you should focus on:
If you are already the victim of a crypto mining attack, or are looking to recover, here’s what you can do: