GS Paper - 3 (Cyber Security)

 ‘Cryptojacking’ attacks on computer systems have gone up by 30% to 66.7 million in the first half of 2022 compared to the first half of last year, according to a report by SonicWall, a US-based cybersecurity firm. While volume increases were widespread, some business sectors were hit harder than others, such as the finance industry, which saw a rise of 269%, the report said.

What is cryptojacking?

  1. Cryptojacking is a cyber attack wherein a computing device is hijacked and controlled by the attacker, and its resources are used to illicitly mine cryptocurrency.
  2. In most cases, the malicious programme is installed when the user clicks on an unsafe link, or visits an infected website — and unknowingly provides access to their Internet-connected device.

Why is cryptojacking done?

  1. Coin mining is a legitimate, competitive process used to release new crypto coins into circulation or to verify new transactions.
  2. It involves solving complex computational problems to generate blocks of verified transactions that get added to the blockchain.
  3. The reward for the first miner who successfully manages to update the crypto ledger through this route is crypto coins.
  4. Cryptojackers co-opt devices, servers, and cloud infrastructure, and use their resources for mining. The use of ‘stolen’ or cryptojacked resources slashes the cost involved in mining.