INTERPOL just announced that their Operation Goldfish Alpha has greatly reduced cryptojacking in Southeast Asia.
Find out how INTERPOL and their partner countries cracked down on cryptojacking through Operation Goldfish Alpha!
Cryptojacking : What Is It?
Cryptojacking is a new way for cybercriminals to hijack our computer’s processing power to mine cryptocurrency.
Cryptojackers snare their victims by getting them to unwittingly install a malware in their computers. This can happen by tricking the victim into clicking on malicious links, or visiting infected websites.
Once installed, the malware gives them access to the computer or other Internet-connected devices. They can then install programmes called “coin miners” to hijack the processing power of infected devices to mine cryptocurrency.
Operation Goldfish Alpha : How INTERPOL Tackled Cryptojacking
Earlier last year, INTERPOL identified a global cryptojacking operation based on a vulnerability in MikroTik routers. The intelligence was disseminated to the affected countries.
INTERPOL’s ASEAN Cyber Capability Desk took it one step further, launching Operation Goldfish Alpha in June 2019.
They identified more than 20,000 hacked routers in the ASEAN region, which accounted for 18% of the infected global total.
Over five months, cybercrime investigators and experts from Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) from across 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) worked together to :
- locate the infected routers and alert the victims,
- patch the infected devices, so they are no longer under the cryptojacker’s control
When Operation Goldfish Alpha concluded in late November 2019, they successfully reduced the number of infected devices by 78%. But while the operation has come to an end, efforts to clean the remaining infected devices continue.
Operation Goldfish Alpha also served to increase awareness of cryptojacking, how to identify it and how to mitigate the threat.
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