Sri Lanka experienced the highest cryptocurrency mining encounters across the region last year, according to the Asia Pacific finding from the latest edition of Microsoft’s Security Endpoint Threat Report 2019.
The findings were derived from an analysis of diverse Microsoft data sources, including eight trillion threat signals received and analysed by Microsoft every day, covering a 12-month period, from January to December 2019.
“As security defences evolve and attackers rely on new techniques, Microsoft’s unique access to billions of threat signals every day enables us to gather data and insights to inform our response to cyberattacks,” said Microsoft Asia Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit Assistant General Counsel Mary
“The Microsoft Security Endpoint Threat Report aims to create a better understanding of the evolving threat landscape and help organisations improve their cybersecurity posture by mitigating the effects of increasingly sophisticated attacks.”
According to the report, Asia Pacific continued to experience a higher-than-average encounter rate for malware and ransomware attacks – 1.6 and 1.7 times higher than the rest of the world, respectively.
Sri Lanka recorded the second highest malware encounter rate at 9.07 percent in 2019. Despite a 14 percent decrease, this was 1.7 times higher than the regional average. According to the report, Sri Lanka recorded the highest cryptocurrency mining encounter rate across the region. While a 45 percent decrease was recorded, from 0.46 in 2018 to 0.25 in 2019, this remained five times higher than the regional and global average.
During such attacks, victims’ computers are infected with cryptocurrency mining malware, allowing criminals to leverage the computing power of their computers without their knowledge.
“While recent fluctuations in cryptocurrency value and the increased time required to generate cryptocurrency have resulted in attackers refocusing their efforts, they continue to exploit markets with low cyber awareness and low adoption of cyber hygiene practices,” explained Microsoft Sri Lanka and the Maldives Country Manager Hasitha Abeywardena.