SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Exclusive: 'Bad guys aren't so bad' as cryptomining is a sign of conscience

FYI, this story is more than a year old

Ransomware wreaked havoc on the world in 2016 and 2017, but recent studies show that it has been usurped as the cybercrime method of choice.

Cryptomining surged to popularity on the back of the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies, with reports from Comodo and Sophos (among others) proving it has overtaken ransomware.

At the recent SolarWinds MSP Empower MSP event held in Amsterdam, I had the chance to sit down with SolarWinds MSP VP security architecture Tim Brown who spoke about the cybercrime landscape as a whole and what he thinks of cryptomining's ascent.

“Cryptomining as an exploit when compared to other available methods isn't so harmful. I think it's a sign that the bad guys aren't so bad and don't want to cause harm unless necessary. The problem is that those machines that have been hacked for cryptomining could have easily been infected with ransomware or financial trojans, among many others,” says Brown.

“That machine is owned and therefore can take another role next time. Depending on what the miner did, the level on compromise on the device might be very benign and some of them are really good in only taking around 10 percent of your processor! They're designed not to disrupt, firstly to avoid detection but I believe also to cause less harm.

Brown believes that with the imminent GDPR just around the corner, we will see a lot more breaches publicised – not necessarily because cybercriminals are becoming more prominent, but simply because they will be obliged to.

“Already businesses are disclosing a lot more than what they used in the past, as we've seen the negative impact of not disclosing in cases like Equifax and Uber. The original mindset for many was 'what can we get away with', but now businesses are realising that if they hide details then it's going to get a lot worse,” says Brown.

“Recently there have been some information disclosures where the system was just compromised, undoubtedly a result of the aggressive cryptomining that is going on. In the past the question that businesses would then ask was ‘if our system gets exposed to one of those, do we really have a breach as no data was stolen?' This is why I see breach disclosures to increase.

I then asked Brown about how businesses can protect themselves against internal threats, as they can spend infinite amounts of money on cybersecurity against external threats, but often the biggest breaches come from the inside.

“What you do is put controls in place so that very few single people can do full amounts of harm to your business. For example, a business that needs to provide updates to millions of end points can only do so with the permission of a number of people, not a single person. This effectively means the key to the 'crown jewels' are guarded by a team,” Brown says.

Brown also shared an interesting solution for the internal security conundrum that he is yet to implement with his team at SolarWinds MSP, but one that he would like to put in place in the near future.

“For people that have more access, you treat them specially. I'm a big fan of compensating and watching my 'crown' people more. I want to be able to take those people that need very high levels of access like my system admin and monitor their internal and external activities - and pay them 10 percent more for the hassle,” says Brown.

“To ensure the safety of our business, you have to give up some of your privacy but in return I will pay you more. That's the world we now live in.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
The growing threat of CEO fraud and how to mitigate it
By posing as the CEO or other senior figures, attackers guarantee that malicious emails get employees' attention. Many employees are reluctant to question a request from their CEO, so they usually provide the information.
Story image
Security Information and Event Management
LogRhythm announces LogRhythm Axon and new solution enhancements
According to the company, Axon provides an easier way for security teams to achieve better visibility across both cloud and on-prem log sources, helping further establish a foundation for their security practices.
Story image
Virtual Private Network
BT enhances global Cardway portfolio with Mako Networks
BT has announced a significant enhancement to its Cardway portfolio of payment solutions following the signing of a global agreement with Mako Networks.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Swift successfully pilots its Securities View capability
The new capability significantly increases transparency in post-trade processing while preventing costly settlement fails; it will be widely available in 2023.
Story image
Ransomware
Commonwealth tackling rising cybercrime threat in Asia
Ransomware, identity theft, and virtual security attacks identified as growing threats to security and economic growth.
Story image
Microsoft
Yubico research finds concerning trends around authentication security practices
A new global survey from Yubico has found that 59% of employees still rely on usernames and passwords as the primary method to authenticate their accounts.
Story image
Apple
Jamf shows intent to acquire mobile security firm ZecOps
This acquisition positions Jamf to help IT and security teams strengthen their organisation’s mobile security posture.
Story image
Work from home
Jamf showcases new products to simplify and secure work
At the 13th annual Jamf Nation User Conference, the company shared how its continuous product innovation is helping organisations succeed with Apple.
Story image
Partner Programmes
Trellix set to launch new unified partner program in 2023
"We co-developed the Xtend program with our partners to create the right business model for deploying Trellix XDR."
Story image
Data Protection
Cloudflare brings Data Localisation Suite to more APAC businesses
This allows any business in these countries to service their data locally while benefiting from the speed, security, and scalability of Cloudflare’s global network.
Story image
Malware
Decrease in malware volume, but surge in encrypted malware
The Q2 Internet Security Report found office exploits continue to spread more than any other category of malware.
Story image
Cybersecurity
De-risking the innovation cycle – a modern, real-time approach to security
Many organisations see cybersecurity as an inhibitor of innovation, with burdensome protection measures standing in the way of progress and speed.
Story image
Cloud Security
75% of AU companies had cloud security incident in past year
According to new Venafi research, complexity is due to increase, as companies plan to host more applications in the cloud.
Story image
Enterprise
Delinea shares the importance of PAM, partners and security for modern enterprise
Identity-based security is becoming a crucial tool for modern enterprises as they continue to adapt to different working environments.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Employees unsure who to go to to report security incident
A new study shows more than 20% of the untrained global workforce do not know who to contact during a security breach.
Story image
Mobile Device Management
How to easily scale your mobile workforce and devices for the peak shopping season
Retailers are under constant pressure to streamline processes and become more efficient while looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction levels.
Story image
Ransomware
Delinea updates DevOps security, remote access more seamless
New enhancements include development support on the most recent Mac computers and improved secrets' management usability through automation.
Story image
Cloud
How modern IT architectures are moving beyond network visibility
Dealing with multiple cloud providers makes it difficult to identify security threats and performance bottlenecks and troubleshoot issues.
Story image
Edge Security
Security practices for modernising the “spaghetti” of on-premises IT
Many organisations are wondering how to securely modernise their workload, often made up of a “spaghetti” of on-premises applications and management consoles.
Story image
IT Training
Six ways to transform your cybersecurity training and influence lasting change
If the goal is to win hearts and minds, formal awareness training can fall short and often doesn’t inspire people to care.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Enterprises yet to fully commit to cybersecurity - CompTIA
“Digital transformation driven by cloud and mobile adoption requires a new strategic approach to cybersecurity, but this poses significant challenges."
Story image
Kaspersky
Cybersecurity loopholes prevalent in South East Asia
In terms of the share of vulnerabilities with publicly available exploits, three countries out of top five are located in Southeast Asia.
Story image
Firewall
Forrester names Akamai as web application firewall leader
"We continually monitor and improve our capabilities to defend customers from new threats, while enabling customers to protect evolving attack surfaces."
Story image
Firewall
Barracuda accelerates growth in its data protection business
Barracuda cloud-to-cloud backup protects against evolving cyber threats, such as ransomware, and is now transactable in the Azure Marketplace.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Val Novoselova joins us today to to discuss new trends in the information security space, and how SearchInform is adapting to some of the new trends we are seeing.
Story image
Legacy
Trellix enables greater cyber resiliency with extended XDR platform
"Legacy SIEM technology has failed to modernise security operations. We are confident Trellix XDR fills this critical gap.”
Story image
Distributed Denial of Service
Sysdig reveals a loss of $53 for every $1 cryptojackers gain
The 2022 Sysdig Cloud Native Threat Report breaks down supply chain attacks against containers and how geopolitical conflict influences attacker behaviours.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ransomware attacks continue to increase, report finds
Nearly a quarter of businesses have suffered a ransomware attack, with a fifth occurring in the past 12 months.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud security driving need for deep observability
Gigamon is bringing application and network-level intelligence together to help network, security, and cloud IT operations teams eliminate security blind spots.
Story image
Malware
Kaspersky uncovers new malicious malware NullMixer
Kaspersky researchers have uncovered a new malware stealing users credentials, address, credit card data, cryptocurrencies, and accounts.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Varonis adds secrets discovery to data classification
The data security firm announces enhancements that detect and remediate overexposed private keys, encryption certificates, API keys, and authentication tokens.
Aws Marketplace
Learn how to implement a backup and recovery plan for a new generation of Kubernetes-based modern applications
Link image
Story image
Threat intelligence
Trellix advances threat intelligence with new research centre
Trellix has announced the establishment of the Trellix Advanced Research Center to advance global threat intelligence.
Story image
Data Protection
99% of security experts unhappy with tokenisation investment
Cybersecurity experts are looking for a solution that provides the strength of tokenisation while removing the friction that has accompanied it in the past.
AWS Marketplace
Whitepaper: A practical guide for mitigating risk in today’s modern applications
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
Test your API Security with Infinite API Scanner
The effectiveness of API scanning technology can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful programming outcomes, and often enterprises and IT leaders struggle to get it right.
Story image
Secure Code Warrior
Secure Code Warrior announces Coding Labs innovation
Coding Labs mechanisms allow developers to move from learning to applying secure coding knowledge more efficiently, leading to fewer code vulnerabilities.
Story image
Malware
Black Lotus Labs discovers new, multipurpose malware
Black Lotus Labs, the threat intelligence team at Lumen, has discovered a new, rapidly growing, multipurpose malware written in the Go programming language.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Best practices for industrial cyber resilience
Operational technology (OT) security is gaining more attention than ever before, but sufficient understanding of what it takes to prevent breaches is still lacking amongst many organisations.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Fortinet advances AIOps to aid the hybrid workforce
"We’re continuing our commitment to AI innovation by delivering AIOps capabilities across our robust portfolio of enterprise networking technology."
Story image
Network Management
Fortinet introduces enhanced AIOps across its gateways
FortiAIOps builds on Fortinet's rich history of developing artificial intelligence to deliver actionable network insights for self-optimising management.
Story image
Virtual Private Network
95% of organisation rely on VPN as threats continue - report
There is a growing number of VPN-specific security threats and a need for Zero Trust security architecture in enterprise-level organisations.