I came across this article today and it really got me thinking about what attacks we might see more of this year and crypto-coin mining is definitely on my list!
If you've ever watched a good cop show then you know 'find the motive, find the criminal'. I would say cyberattacks aren't too dissimilar to this concept, although you stand much less of a chance finding the person given the anonymity of the internet. In the attacks that have occurred during my career there has always been a 'motive', whether that be political, economic, revenge or just plain espionage. However the majority of the time the motive is because of monetary gain, and cryptocurrencies are exactly that.
I believe the rise of cryptocurrencies is driving more attacks directly focused on mining or obtaining the currency. I certainly believe we are going to see a lot more of these attacks, mostly digital-based but also, scarily, your traditional physical Kidnap – (https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ukraine-kidnapping/ukraine-kidnappers-free-bitcoin-analyst-after-1-million-ransom-paid-idUKKBN1EN1QE)
This weekend’s attack is no exception, but what is interesting to me in this case, is that the attempt doesn’t point to a highly-skilled and crafted attack - the hijackers went after some organisations you would hope are some of the best protected in the UK. (Trivia – if the ICO gets breached do they still have to report it to themselves within 72 hours….?)
My point is, was this monetary motivated or is there something under the surface of this attack?
It’s understood a number of UK websites - including the webpage of the Information Commissioner’s Office which is currently down - were targeted by digital hijackers on Sunday.