Software company and former smartphone manufacturer, BlackBerry, has partnered with Intel to launch a crypto mining and cryptojacking detection system for Intel-based commercial computers.
According to the announcement, BlackBerry released “BlackBerry Optics v2.5.1100”, which relies on the BlackBerry Optics Context Analysis Engine, or CAE, to leverage CPU telemetry from Intel Threat Detection Technology to provide enterprises with advanced malware software. This software’s main purpose is to detect cryptojacking attempts.
On how the system works, representatives from BlackBerry sent the following comment to Cointelegraph:
“BlackBerry and Intel have teamed up to provide a robust defense against cryptojackers in a way unique in the security industry. BlackBerry has integrated the Intel vPro TDT driver and machine learning model into BlackBerry Optics, our AI-driven EDR tool. This integration offers users a way to quickly detect and respond to cryptomining activity at the hardware level, without the need to access the application itself. This provides the ability to introspect applications like a web browser without a plugin, and a virtual machine from the host OS.”
Works on Windows 10
As there is virtually no processor impact, organizations could use the software to mitigate and detect such threats with “greater precision and consistent results”. The software works across all types of workloads executing on the Windows 10 operating system.
BlackBerry quotes a study previously reported by Cointelegraph called the “Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report”. This report states that around 10% of organizations received (and blocked) cryptocurrency mining malware at some point throughout the year.
Representatives from BlackBerry told Cointelegraph:
“Cryptojacking continues to be a big concern for organizations because it is often paired with malware and on its own is considerably less obtrusive than cyber threats like ransomware. This means it can go undetected for long periods of time. Threat actors have devised multiple ways to deliver crypotojacking malware to a wide variety of devices, which complicates detection and remediation efforts.”
Cryptojacking as an increasing threat
Josh Lemos, VP of research and intelligence at BlackBerry Cylance, stated that given the cost associated with mining cryptocurrency and the payments of ransomware demands on the decline, cryptojacking becomes “an attractive option” for threat actors to generate revenue:
“With our new cryptojacking detection and response capabilities, we’re looking to make this practice a thing of the past, providing enterprises and their employees with a turn-key solution that will enable them to thwart cryptojacking attempts and ensure their software and hardware are used for their intended purposes.”
Additionally, Stephanie Hallford, Intel’s vice president of the client computing group and general manager of business client platforms, said the following:
“Building on top of the built-for-business Intel vPro platform, enabled by Intel Hardware Shield, BlackBerry takes advantage of hardware visibility to offer advanced security protection, and we applaud them for this release.”
Cointelegraph reported on June 6 about data published by Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky. This data indicates that Singapore has seen a significant increase in the prevalence of attempted cryptojacking attacks during the first quarter of 2020.