According to a new report, cases involving cryptojacking increased by more than 400 percent compared to the previous year.
The Report and its Findings
The Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA) is a collaborative group of cybersecurity experts. The group published a detailed report on Wednesday containing staggering statistics regarding cryptojacking. The latter refers to the practice of hijacking a person’s device. This allows the criminals to mine cryptocurrencies without the knowledge or consent of the owner.
In its research, the CTA points out that the number of cryptojacking incidents where malware was found has increased dramatically. The illicit events occurred specifically during the closing months of 2017 to July 2018.
The report reads:
“Combined data from several CTA members shows a 459 percent increase in illicit cryptocurrency mining malware detections since 2017, and recent quarterly trend reports from CTA members show that this rapid growth shows no signs of slowing down.”
The CTA points to Eternalblue, a particular exploit that has plagued the security sphere for quite some time.
The CTA’s research states that a vast number of Windows operating systems remain prone to the bug’s attack despite the Microsoft patch.
Malicious players in the crypto and cybersecurity space will attack these susceptible machines for their processing power. Even basic cryptojacking software can take advantage of these vulnerablities.
Evolution of Cryptojacking Malware
Criminals with malicious intent re-purposed their existing software to specifically mine cryptos.
Furthermore, the malware decreases the mining rate. Therefore, it is cheaply and easily scaled across a network in large organizations. It can remain on the host device for an extended period of time to ensure a larger pay-out.
Palo Alto Networks is one of the partners in the alliance. The organization found that Coinhive dominates the space in terms of the software culprits use for their cryptojacking endeavors. Approximately 23,000 websites contain Coinhive source code.
Moreover, criminals are now shifting their attention away from traditional systems and PCs. They are focusing on the newer Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices such as smart TVs.
The CTA emphasizes that cryptojacking malware are an indicator of how insecure a system can be. They said, “if miners can gain access to use the processing power of your networks, then you can be assured that more sophisticated actors may already have access.”
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