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The world’s biggest tech names join forces to fight crypto black hats

Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:43

Nobody would disagree that cryptocurrencies have done wonders to empower millions of unbanked, politically repressed, and otherwise disadvantaged people across the world. Meanwhile, their underlying blockchain technology has revolutionised everything from international payments to personal data security, improving lives everywhere. However, as is usually the case, these benefits come with a price. Sometimes literally.

Despite all its good, crypto is also the currency of choice for many hackers and other virtual ne’er-do-wells. Their scams range from simple extortion to taking control of another person’s computer and using its processing power for mining. This latter activity is known as cryptojacking and was once a minor inconvenience. However, with the growing popularity of digital currencies, it has recently morphed into a serious issue costing individuals and businesses time, performance and money. Fortunately, IT juggernauts Intel and Microsoft have joined forces to find a solution to this costly conundrum once and for all!

Two heads are always better than one

To solve a complex problem like this, it’s always better to pool one’s knowledge and experience. This thinking ended up prompting Microsoft to combine its Defender for Endpoint suite with Intel’s Threat Detection Technology to produce a holistic countermeasure against cryptojacking.  As a result, the latest Defender for Endpoint now incorporates Intel’s accelerated memory scanning capabilities to activate CPU-based crypto mining machine learning (ML) detection. Now, users will be able to protect themselves from a full spectrum of malware and ransomware, including the latest covert mining programmes — without compromising on experience. And since the software integrates ML, every thwarted attack makes it even more powerful to provide a kind of in-built future-proofing.

The core advantage of Intel’s TDT is that it’s able to go beyond the signature- and file-based techniques employed by its competitors. It uses silicon-level telemetry and functionality to enable the hardware platform to play an active role in threat defence against ‘above-the-OS’ attacks. Combined with Microsoft’s industry-standard software suite, users benefit from all of the functionality of Intel’s Threat Detection Technology in an easy-to-use, familiar interface. Best of all, the technology doesn’t require any additional investments, IT configuration or third-party installation. Both Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and Intel’s TDT integrated solution are natively compatible with Intel Core processors and the Intel vPro platform (6th Gen and above), millions of which are already on the market.

What this means for the companies’ fortunes

Naturally, such a game-changing technological breakthrough to respond to a real and present danger to both retail and business clients can only be good news for the companies involved. As such, we are very likely to see a sustained uptrend in the share prices of both Microsoft and Intel. We saw a spike earlier in the month, which we can read as an initial knee-jerk response to rumours about the development. Since then, Intel, undoubtedly the more volatile of the two, has corrected by around 10%. This is typical “buy the rumour, sell the news” behaviour. But given the profound significance of TDT and its projected dominance well into the future, we could look back on this current price of $57.74 as an absolute steal. While Microsoft is now considered by many as a blue-chip stock, a competitive advantage such as this could just as easily spark a period of extended growth, making it the ideal choice for the more risk-averse who still wish to profit from this landmark breakthrough.

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