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Hackers Eye Cryptocurrencies, DDoS Attacks on Decline: Report

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The surge in cryptocurrency has led cybercriminals to realign their strategies and as a result, they are using their computing power to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, a new report revealed on Saturday.

This has also resulted in drop in DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.

The number of DDoS attacks detected by global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky DDoS Prevention in Q4 2020 increased slightly in comparison to the same period of 2019.

However, it is 31 per cent less compared to Q3 2020 and this drop can be connected to the growing interest in cryptocurrency mining.

“In Q4 2020, there were only 10 per cent more attacks than in Q4 2019. And compared to Q3 2020, the number of attacks in Q4 2020 fell by 31 per cent, while Q3 2020 also saw a drop compared to Q2,” the report said.

Experts suggest that this can be caused by a surge in cryptocurrency costs.

As a result, cybercriminals may have had to ‘re-profile’ some botnets so that C&C servers, that are typically used in DDoS attacks, could repurpose infected devices and use their computing power to mine cryptocurrencies instead.

The DDoS attack market is currently affected by two opposite trends.

“On the one hand, people still highly rely on stable work of online resources, which can make DDoS attacks a common choice for malefactors. However, with a spike in cryptocurrency prices, it may be more profitable for them to infect some devices with miners,” said comments Alexey Kiselev, Business Development Manager on the Kaspersky DDoS Protection team.

As a result, “we see that the total number of DDoS attacks in Q4 remained quite stable. And we can predict that this trend will continue in 2021,” he added.

Throughout 2019, as well as in the beginning of 2020, the number of cryptominers was dropping.

However, from August 2020 the trend changed, with the amount of this form of malware increasing slightly and reaching a plateau in Q4.



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Airline CEOs, Biden Officials Consider Green-Fuel Breaks

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Chief executives of the nation’s largest passenger and cargo airlines met with key Biden administration officials Friday to talk about reducing emissions from airplanes and push incentives for lower-carbon aviation fuels.

The White House said the meeting with climate adviser Gina McCarthy and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also touched on economic policy and curbing the spread of COVID-19 travel has been a vector for the virus. But industry officials said emissions dominated the discussion.

United Airlines said CEO Scott Kirby asked administration officials to support incentives for sustainable aviation fuel and technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere. In December, United said it invested an undisclosed amount in a carbon-capture company partly owned by Occidental Petroleum.

A United Nations aviation group has concluded that biofuels will remain a tiny source of aviation fuel for several years. Some environmentalists would prefer the Biden administration to impose tougher emissions standards on aircraft rather than create breaks for biofuels.

Biofuels are false solutions that dont decarbonize air travel, said Clare Lakewood, a climate-law official with the Center for Biological Diversity. Real action on aircraft emissions requires phasing out dirty, aging aircraft, maximizing operational efficiencies and funding the rapid development of electrification.

Airplanes account for a small portion of emissions that cause climate change about 2% to 3% but their share has been growing rapidly and is expected to roughly triple by mid-century with the global growth in travel.

The airline trade group says U.S. carriers have more than doubled the fuel efficiency of their fleets since 1978 and plan further reductions in carbon emissions. But the independent International Council on Clean Transportation says passenger traffic is growing nearly four times faster than fuel efficiency, leading to a 33% increase in emissions between 2013 and 2019.

The U.S. accounts for about 23% of aircraft carbon-dioxide emissions, followed by Europe at 19% and China at 13%, the transportation group’s researchers estimated.

The White House said McCarthy, Buttigieg and economic adviser Brian Deese were grateful and optimistic to hear the airline CEOs talk about current and future efforts to combat climate change.

Nicholas Calio, president of the trade group Airlines for America, said the exchange was positive.

Airlines are ready, willing and able partners, and we want to be part of the solution” to climate change, Calio said in a statement. We stand ready to work in partnership with the Biden administration.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor



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