More than anywhere in the world, Bitcoin and crypto-related hacks are on the rise in India. In any case, this is the finding established by Microsoft’s latest report on international cybercrime. In Bharat, groups of hackers are said to specialize in particular in cryptojacking, in other words the mining of cryptocurrencies without the knowledge of the user of computer equipment. Indian users are said to be particularly vulnerable to malware due to a global and endemic computer vulnerability in the territory.
Computer vulnerability exposes Indians to crypto attacks
India currently holds a dismal record for the number of crypto-jacking attacks. In his latest report entitled “Microsoft Security Endpoint Threat Summary 2019”, Microsoft ranked the country the fifth most attacked areas in fiscal 2019.
As proof, the number of cryptojacking attacks in India would be 4.6 times higher than the world average. According to the findings of the study, computer security deficiencies are one of the main drivers of the rise in crypto-malware. Microsoft highlights what the company identifies as an alarming vulnerability in its report: “In general, malware infection is the result of poor security hygiene and minimal security education and user awareness.”
In India, the tech giant deplores a local IT market plagued by unlicensed software, conducive to malware. The infected machines could serve as an access point for any malicious actor, in particular for the purpose of mining cryptocurrency without the users’ knowledge.
A close correlation with the price of cryptocurrencies
The Microsoft report points out that the number of crypto-jacking attacks is closely correlated with the rise in the price of cryptocurrencies. As cryptocurrency grows in value, more hackers are leaping at the opportunity to spread malware with the sole aim of grabbing the computing power of infected machines. Conversely, it has been noted that the intensity of the phenomenon weakens as the prices of crypto currencies unscrew.
Translating this equation into numbers, Microsoft estimates that crypto-jacking attacks have fallen by 40% in recent years, following the same downward trend in the price of major cryptocurrencies. The historic peaks reached at the end of 2017 thus seem to belong to the distant past. Noting that in recent weeks, most crypto currencies have come out of their torpor – or even post new records of
performance -, an upsurge in piracy is to be feared.
Hacking, embezzlement and other illicit cryptocurrency mining are almost as old as the existence of the crypto-assets themselves. However, the Indian situation demonstrates to what extent, like a health situation, technological hygiene can deteriorate on the scale of an entire country, making it an El Dorado for hackers.