Intel Partners With Microsoft to Curb the Cryptojacking Malware Using Threat Detection Tech

Intel is set to collaborate with Microsoft to defend against cryptojacking. According to an official press release, the two leading tech companies will work hand-in-hand in fighting cryptojacking threats for users.

Machine Learning to the Rescue

Both companies plan to use machine learning to identify and nuke cryptojacking efforts before they escalate.

Intel's Threat Detection Technology (TDT) will be integrated into Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. This will enhance easy detection capability and protection against cryptojacking malware.

The new technology will enable the tech company to detect malware irrespective of the malicious code’s obfuscation strategies being adopted.

Intel’s Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Architecture, Michael Nordquist, believes that the new technology will set a genuine inflection point for the security industry, per the press release.

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of another person or entity’s computer to mine cryptocurrency.

The illegal act is often carried out through the use of malware or compromised websites.

According to Microsoft, cryptojacking attacks rose by 53% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to Q3. Although cryptojacking has significantly reduced as a result of the surge in crypto prices in 2021.

However, Karthik Selvaraj, the principal security research manager at Microsoft, believes the collaboration with Intel underscores Microsoft's efforts in collaborating with technology partners across the industry.

Selvaraj added that the company would intensify partnership with chipmakers to adopt new hardware-based defenses capable of protecting against cyber threats.

Clampdown on Cryptojacking

Given the challenges that cryptojacking poses to the crypto space, efforts are being made to nip the issue in the bud.

The research was earlier conducted on cryptojacking by the cybersecurity firm Aqua Security to identify the root cause and ways to end it.

According to Aqua’s report, out of 16,371 cybersecurity attacks on its decoy servers, it was established that 95% were primarily aimed at mining cryptocurrency through the deployment of malicious programs.

The attackers were also more interested in mining Monero (XMR) compared to other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. XMR -0.92% Monero / USD XMRUSD $ 143.17
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Interestingly, Microsoft's recent report shows that crypto-mining attacks have reduced due to rising volatility and mining difficulties. Although the report claims that users in countries like Singapore, Vietnam, and India still stand a higher risk of being attacked.

With respect to the ongoing clampdown on cryptojacking, two members of the notorious Romanian hacker gang Bayrob Group were sentenced to 20 years in U.S. prison, having been found guilty of using malware to mine crypto on 400,000 infected computers.

The Court's pronouncement shows that the Group leader Bogdan Nicolescu and co-conspirator Radu Miclaus were guilty of the charges leveled against them.

It was established that the duo deployed malware to mine Bitcoin and Monero using their host computers’ processing power.

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