Protect users from unintentionally downloading crypto-mining scripts, Microsoft releasing Edge browser
As AZCoin News reported, crypto-ransomware attacks are on the rise. And to protect users from accidentally downloading fraudulent cryptocurrency mining software, Microsoft is releasing a new Edge browser. This software is designed to prevent these types of malware.
Microsoft is releasing its new Edge browser
Microsoft recently released the first full version of the Microsoft Edge browser with some design improvements. Specifically, Microsoft Edge brings new security features to protect users from automatically downloading unwanted applications. Such as adware and other malicious programs that harm the user’s PC. Typical of them is crypto-ransomware.
Wait, what is this new setting in Edge? Is Edge trying to save me from downloading potentially unwanted apps, such as toolbar/adware? Why, yes it is! What used to be a enterprise Windows Defender Antivirus feature is making its way to consumers. Now in beta. pic.twitter.com/D4lYLKqAWL
— Amitai Rottem (@AmitaiTechie) January 30, 2020
Recognizing the growing threat of cryptocurrency mining tools, Microsoft has been designed to block these types of malware. Cryptocurrency malware includes software programs and malware components that are programmed to hijack computer resources and use them to mine cryptocurrencies. Such as Bitcoin or Monero, without the consent of the computer owner.
Microsoft Edge users will soon be able to use a full-fledged computer without the risk of accidentally downloading cryptocurrency mining tools. This feature targets less reputable sources that infect websites or advertise online with cryptocurrency mining code, sneakily operating after loading into the victim’s browser.
Eric Lawrence, Chief Program Officer of Microsoft, stated the following:
“The new Microsoft Edge will outperform SmartScreen software. It is even more resistant to cloud-based malware.”
Base SmartScreen and SafeBrowsing both block malware. The feature shown here goes further by optionally blocking downloads that contain potentially unwanted (but not technically malware) code– think a utility app that also bundles in a crypto miner or notification spammer.
— Eric Lawrence ? (@ericlaw) January 31, 2020
Microsoft has encouraged users to switch to their new browser.
Cloud infrastructure is the most significant attack target
Cryptocurrency mining attacks have increased over the years. For example, for 2020, the Cyber Security Report emphasizes that cryptocurrency mining attacks will dominate cybercrime activity.
Source: Cyber Security Report
Correctly, the report concludes, this year, cloud infrastructure will be a significant target for cryptocurrency mining attacks. However, cyber-attacks involving cryptocurrency mining threaten the entire network spectrum.
Most recently, on January 30, 2020, Microsoft’s security intelligence unit reported that cybercriminals installed malware that exploits Monero cryptocurrency in the background of the deceased basketball superstar Kobe Bryant.
Microsoft Defender SmartScreen blocks the website hosting the coin miner. Microsoft Defender ATP detects the malicious HTML file as Trojan:HTML/Brocoiner.N!lib (SHA-256: 86031a7d35968a1ff1f20441afce6eee504cdb98c1fbee9a4708ad989a5f2269)
— Microsoft Security Intelligence (@MsftSecIntel) January 30, 2020
The malicious scenario specifically refers to CoinHive, a browser-based cryptocurrency mining program. Hackers often prefer CoinHive to exploit Monero maliciously.
While Edge’s ability to detect and block cryptocurrency mining tools is welcome, users should still be wary of non-browser-based ways to infect Windows 10 PCs with that code.
- Crypto-Ransomware Attacks Shut Down The California School, Demanded Bitcoin As A Ransom To Restore Service
- Kraken Research: It Only Takes 15 Minutes To Hack A Trezor Wallets