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Microsoft teams up with Intel to block Cryptomining Malware in Windows 10 PCs

by Felix Omondi

Is your computer always running hot? Have you gotten used to hearing your fan noise even when running a very simple task on the computer? Perhaps you’re on a Word document, watching a movie on VLC, yet the machine is hot and loud. You even double-check on the task manager to see if you have the usual culprits (ahem, Chrome browser, Adobe suite) running in the background.

You’d swear there is nothing heavy running in the background or foreground to warrant the loud fan and heat coming off your computer.

Blame it on the rising Bitcoin values

Well, you might be one of the million cryptocurrency miners who mine even without knowing nor getting paid. These days, cryptojacking is the in thing for hackers. They are becoming less interested in stealing your private information or locking up your important files to demand a ransom. Instead, they are after cashing in on the rising value of cryptocurrencies.

With the price of cryptos such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, and Dogecoin skyrocketing, hackers want in on the game. However, they are limited in the computing power at their disposal to mine these cryptos.

Hackers Infect your Computer to Mine Cryptos for Them

Cryptojacking is becoming a nightmare, and some security experts say there is little that conventional antivirus and antimalware can do to protect your machine. You are basically a sitting duck, waiting to donate your electricity, computer resources, and internet. All the while your computer will be running slow, fan running loud, and heating up.

Microsoft partners with Intel to curb Cryptominers

Microsoft has partnered with Intel to stop cryptominers through using the Intel Threat Detection Technology (TDT). The TDT will be integrated into Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, a cloud-based enterprise security service. This new security system can arrest malware operating deep within the CPU level where the conventional antivirus – operating at operating system level – cannot reach.

The partnership between Microsoft and Intel came against a backdrop of rising cases of in-memory malware. In a blogpost, Microsoft explained:

Intel TDT applies machine learning to low-level hardware telemetry sourced directly from the CPU performance monitoring unit (PMU) to detect the malware code execution ‘fingerprint’ at runtime with minimal overhead.

TDT leverages a rich set of performance profiling events available in Intel SoCs (System-on-a-Chip) to monitor and detect malware at their final execution point (the CPU).”

How to protect your device from Cryptojacking

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