Cryptocurrency Mining Today
Cryptocurrency has enabled to let anyone make unregulated transactions. It is a virtual currency that uses cryptography. These transactions cannot be regulated by any government or banking institution. The mining for cryptocurrency, which is cryptocurrency generation, continues to increase by the day. Cybercriminals come up with different methods to work their way around using processing power from different sources, which is a big financial and resource loss.
The most targeted devices for cryptocurrency mining are corporate servers, employee-owned devices and corporate-owned devices, in that order. The preferred method to compromise corporate servers is by taking advantage of unknown vulnerabilities.
There are estimated reports that show that these CPU-consuming cryptocurrency miners have advanced more than 700% in 2017 alone. This means that there are possibly hundreds of thousands of websites that have been rigged to mine for cryptocurrency without the user's knowledge.
The True Extent of the Problem
A web-based miner known as Coinhive has significantly increased the attacks on websites to mine virtual currency using CPU 's resources. These sites usually have outdated plugins, services and software, making them more susceptible. There are desktop applications that have been rigged to mine for cryptocurrency as well.
Some attacks use YouTube advertisements to distribute cryptocurrency mining software across various servers. There are a lot of industrial systems that still use outdated operating systems as well. This makes it easy for cybercriminals to plant mining software and stay undetected for a long period of time.
Impact on Data Centers
Mining for cryptocurrency is a very resource-intensive process. This is why targeting individual users does not make sense. This leaves cybercriminals large data centers and cloud infrastructures. They have an elastic computing power gives miners the freedom to control large mining farms, cost-free.
Cryptojacking attacks only evolve with time. The newer ones can hide their tracks better by reducing the strain they put on CPUs. Attackers are creative and they are capable of using any client or side-server attack techniques to start mining and consuming the company's hardware resources.
A successful cryptojacking attack on a server means that there is a gap present in the security, which can also be used for other attacks. This is a disastrous place for a business to be in and can ruin a company's reputation.
Mining is more than just algorithms. It causes strain on the hardware resources being used, which can eventually render them useless. This increases the operational and hardware costs to the company, which can be a huge financial strain on a business.
Securing Data Centers
A multi-layered approach is required to combat the cryptojacking issue. The security has to comprise of multiple defence technologies. These technologies should provide consistent security across the entire infrastructure, spanning from physical resources to on-cloud, and everything in between.
This should be done without having any impact on the workload performance or the consolidation ratios.
The need to secure servers arises because cryptocurrency mining is not disappearing as a threat anytime soon. The computing power necessary for mining operations is going to keep increasing, which will only increase the threat to data centers and other network servers. To combat this issue, equally advanced countermeasures need to be put in place, which can be done using an in-depth multi-layered security system.
Key Takeaways from 'Cryptocurrency Mining Craze Going for Data Centers':
- The most targeted devices for cryptocurrency mining are corporate servers, employee-owned devices and corporate-owned devices
- Outdated operating systems, software, plug-ins and network servers make it easy for miners to hijack the systems to plant mining software
- Cryptojacking evolves with time and needs constant hardware resources to operate, making it difficult for businesses to combat the issue
- The best way to prevent a server or user's CPU from being attacked is to initiate a multi-layered security system that pans across physical hardware to cloud