Report: Cryptojacking Attacks in Mexico On The Rise

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A recent report revealed that while 70% of organizations based in Mexico utilize cloud services, their networks are alarmingly exposed to external threats. Local companies have particularly complained that the number of cryptojacking cases has increased in the past year.

Cryptojacking Rises In Mexico

The so-called cryptojacking term relates to cases when an attacker gains unauthorized access to a mobile device or a computer to mine or mint cryptocurrencies. According to a recent research compiled by the Russian-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, the number of such attacks has surged significantly during the first quarter of 2020.

Another recent report highlighted that Mexican organizations are attractive targets for cryptojacking as well. Numerous companies have reported that after thorough investigations, they found that their networks have been employed for mining different cryptocurrencies, without disclosing which digital assets have been mined.

General Director of Sales for Latin American of the cloud cybersecurity company Netskope, Alain Karioty, explained that cryptojacking is easier to deploy because the mass population is still largely unaware of the threat. He added that organizations need to enhance their security protocols and education if they want to hinder such activities.

The report compiled by the UK-based security software and hardware company Sophos also blamed the lack of proper countermeasures from Mexican organizations as the primary reason for the increasing number of cryptojacking attacks.

This comes although the main public cloud providers in Mexico are some of the most well-known and utilized names in the industry – Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

Mexico. Source: Forbes
Mexico. Source: Forbes

Ransomware Attacks On Mexican Organizations

Ransomware is another popular form of an attack, in which the perpetrators insert malware on large networks to encrypt or steal sensitive information. To return access to those materials, the attackers typically demand ransoms in some cryptocurrency. Unfortunately for Mexico, the country has seen its fair share of such attacks as well.

One example came in late 2019 when the state-owned petroleum company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) was hacked. The firm had to shut down all of its operational systems across the entire country. The attackers later contacted Pemex representatives and requested a ransom of $5 million to be paid in Bitcoin.

A few months later, the nation’s economy ministry detected a similar attack. An unknown organization infiltrated some of its servers. However, the ministry said that “sensitive information, as well as that of its users, is not considered compromised. ”

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