2017 was marked by cybercrime. Multiple Ransomware attacks blocked the IT systems of a large number of companies and organisations around the world, undermining the work of IT security professionals in all sectors.
Those mainly affected were the English hospitals, and a large number of facilities had to invoke their business continuity plans and switch to “downgraded” mode by cancelling non-urgent medical procedures.
On the financial side, the pirates struck their targets effectively. The cost of cybercrime is now estimated at nearly 600 billion dollars per year around the world.
A Silent Attack
Cybercriminals continue to use increasingly more innovative techniques, and 2018 will be even more complicated for IT security professionals and IT managers. In fact, a new kind of attack has been identified, one that spreads quickly without you being aware, at least not initially.
This new intrusion will exploit your IT infrastructure’s computer CPU resources, as well as those of your servers and connected objects, in order to mine cryptocurrency on the criminal’s behalf.
At first, there is nothing noticeable to suggest that your IT infrastructure is infected. Over time your computers will become increasingly slower, possibly making them unusable.
Protect Your IT Infrastructure
There is no antivirus to protect your computer stations; at least not yet. The Russian developer Kaspersky has announced that it is currently studying this trend.
The intrusion generally occurs through browsing infected websites. The attack will run a process in the background on the computer station without the user having authorised or requested anything whatsoever.
Browsers do not yet provide any safeguards to protect your computer stations and to prevent intrusion. However, you can begin by ensuring your security system includes any of these plug-ins:
- Dedicated extension: No Coin (Compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Opera)
- Script blockers: uBlock Origin, Adblock Plus, 1Blocker
It should be noted that it’s not only suspicious websites that are infected. In December 2017, it was discovered that many government sites around the world had been infected by this same type of malware. This type of virus spreads very quickly, and IT security researcher Troy Mursch has listed nearly 30, 000 sites infected by Coinhive (a script that uses its host’s CPU resources to mine cryptocurrency without their knowledge).
Protection Through Communication
In order to be more responsive and to prevent infecting your system, the best thing remains to be able to notify your users as soon as a cyber risk is discovered. For example, if a frequently visited website in your organisation is declared as being infected, you must inform your employees to stop consulting it as soon as possible.
To do this, we recommend using a mass alert system. You can instantly warn all your users whenever a threat arises, such as fraudulent emails, infected sites, spyware, etc. in order to prevent them from infecting your systems and to give them the steps to follow. Your users may in fact notify you that they received the alert and it will be recorded in your mass alert system.
With this kind of proactive communication, you can ensure that you are able to respond in case of any imminent risks.