Crypto mining malware is the top threat to watch out for this year, according to a new report – with crypto attacks jumping higher than ransomware instances in the first quarter of 2018.
During the first quarter of 2018, Comodo Cybersecurity said it detected 28.9 million crypto miner incidents out of a total of 300 million malware incidents. The number of unique crypto miner variants grew from 93,750 in January to 127,000 in March.
Crypto jacking has become the standard currency for crypto mining malware, hackers demand their fee for returning encrypted files and data loss to victims, and the hard-to-trace nature of the cryptocurrency has arguably playing a role in the rise of crypto mining malware.
However, before cryptocurrency came along, crooks used other means of accepting ransom funds, such as Ukash and Paysafecard, to secure their fees, and there are signs that those who deal in ransomware are already casting their gaze towards new forms payment.
“We do believe there will be a resurgence in ransomware and crypto mining malware. The timing is of course uncertain but we do think we will see it come back sometime this year…it could take the form of data destruction, instead of ransom, depending on the motivations of the criminals,”
Crypto mining Malware attacks have been quite popular in the crypto space and are characterized by the spread of malicious software which is known to completely block out the user’s access to valuable information. Last month we saw hackers hitting Atlanta’s local government, demanding $51,000 in Bitcoin to lift the block-out.
Crypto mining malware is when crooks covertly infect your computer with software to do the calculations needed to generate cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, Monero or Ethereum; the crooks keep any crypto coin proceeds for themselves.
They do this because, to make any real money with coin mining, you need a lot of electricity to deliver a lot processing power on a lot of computers.
So you can either rent space in a giant coin mining server farm, for example in Iceland, where electricity is super cheap and the weather is cold enough to stop your computers melting down…
…. or you can steal other people’s electricity, processing power and air conditioning by using malware to sneak crypto miners into their networks, their browsers, their coffee shops, and more.
Where’s the harm in that?
If you get infected with a crypto miner, all your data is still there, and you can still access it, so crypto mining sounds like small beer compared to ransomware.
However, your computer will probably be annoyingly slow, your laptop fans will be roaring all the time, and your battery life will be hopeless.
On a mobile device, all those side effects are much more of an issue because short battery life means outages when your phone goes flat, and the battery overheating associated with continuous super-heavy processor usage could cause permanent damage.
Have you fallen victim to some sort of hacker’s attack? What precautions are you taking to prevent it from happening?
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