Does China’s crackdown mean curtains for cryptojacking via IoT?
In a move that could affect the frequency with which IoT devices are cryptojacked, China has battened down on financial services linked to cryptocurrency trading.
The news has dampened the price gains from bitcoin’s bull run earlier this year, when it surged to a record high of $63,000 by April 13.
As of mid-June 2021, the world’s most traded digital currency slumped to just $34,700, down from $39,000 one month ago.
Cryptojacking involves criminals mining for virtual money by surreptitiously installing software on IT devices, having been granted permission.
Like many cyberbreaches, enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) is high risk given the prevalence of unmonitored endpoints, always-on devices and user interface-less machines.
“The situation hasn’t improved a whole lot [since the Mirai botnet in 2016],” said Brian Kime, a senior analyst at Forrester who covers security and risk, “IoT devices, especially consumer ones, tend to be unmanaged.
“In the enterprise, even though you often have manageable IoT, a lot of companies forget about it.”
“Devices like printers are notorious for being abused because they’re rarely being monitored and updated.”
Beijing Reloads Crypto Crackdown
In 2017 China’s cryptocurrency trading exchanges were banned, along with initial coin offerings that had also attracted cybercriminal activity.
However foreign crypto exchanges have been used as a workaround and Chinese buyers had been permitted to purchase and spend bitcoin.
Trade was ramping up again given bitcoin’s surge in value, which worried monetary policy-makers amid the rollout of China’s central bank-endorsed alternative: the digital yuan.
Following the announcement, tougher vigilance can be expected on all crypto-related services including account openings, trading and settlements.
In addition, regulated financial companies have been urged to refuse to cash out digital coins into yuan or foreign currency, according to Reuters.
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