Blackberry exec discusses cryptojacking attacks

  • Josh Lemos, VP of research and intelligence at BlackBerry, shared his thoughts on cryptojacking attacks. 
  • There’s a lack of visibility about the combination of crypto mining apps and malware.
  • Blackberry has partnered with Intel to detect advanced cryptojacking malware.

In a recent interview with Cointelegraph, Josh Lemos, VP of research and intelligence at BlackBerry, shared his thoughts on cryptojacking attacks. Cryptojacking attacks can either be an internal or an external threat as criminals are increasingly attempting to exploit vulnerabilities in the networks. In some cases, admins use valid entitlements to make money from illegally mined digital assets using the company’s network resources. Lemos said that most firms don’t have “great visibility” about it.

He added that cryptocurrency mining apps are getting more sophisticated of late and run in multiple ways, “from JavaScript running on a website as a watering hole attack or embedded in a spear-phishing email to supply chain attacks with miners embedded in docker hub images and malicious browser extensions.”

Commenting on why Monero is used more often in attacks than other currencies, Lemos said:

Monero is pitched as more lucrative to the average user due to the nature of the mining algorithm. Anytime you have uneducated users looking for a quick buck, you will have more opportunities for exploitation. The old adage still holds true: the best way to get rich in a gold rush is to sell shovels. In this case, the shovels also contain malware.

Blackberry has also partnered with Intel to release BlackBerry Optics v2.5.1100 to detect advanced cryptojacking malware. BlackBerry Optics Context Analysis Engine (CAE) leverages CPU telemetry from Intel Threat Detection Technology (Intel TDT) to provide companies with unparalleled detection of cryptojacking attempts.


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