Cryptojacking attempts on the rise in 2018, study suggests
In a new study carried out by global cybersecurity solutions provider Trend Micro Incorporated, cryptojacking attempts are on the rise and grabbing the most headlines this year. In its midyear security roundup 2018, the company said it recorded a 96 percent increase in cryptocurrency mining detections in the first half 2018 compared to whole of 2017.
“This indicates cybercriminals are shifting away from the quick payout of ransomware in favor of the slower, behind-the-scenes approach of stealing computing power to mine digital currency,” the report says.
The study also brings to fore the changing modus operandi of cybercriminals who are shifting their focus from ransomware attacks to more clandestine methods but with the same old intention of stealing money and others computing resources.
“The recent change in the threat landscape mirrors what we’ve seen for years – cybercriminals will constantly shift their tools, tactics, and procedures (TTPs) to improve their infection rates,” said Jon Clay, Director of Global Threat Communication, Trend Micro.
“Standard ransomware attacks and data breaches had become the norm, so attackers changed their tactics to be more covert, using entry vectors not previously seen or used extensively. This means once again, business leaders must evaluate their defences to ensure sufficient protection is in place to stop the latest and most pressing threats.”
Another revealing fact that comes out from the research is that there has been an increase in the number of new cryptocurrency malware families, which highlights the point that cybercriminals are keenly interested in profiting from digital currencies.
The report adds that a network infected with unwanted cryptocurrency miners could slow down performance and gradually wear down hardware. These problems are multiplied manifold in an enterprise environment.
The company advised IT administrators to keep an eye out for unusual network activity considering the stealthy but significant impact cryptocurrency mining can have on a system.
According to another report by IDefense, a subsidiary of Accenture, Iranian-backed hackers have re trying to upgrade their cryptojacking and ransomware capabilities as geopolitical tension sizzles between the U.S. and Iran.
“The increased repurposing of popular malware by Iranian actors could lead to the use of ransomware for destructive purposes by state-sponsored organizations,” the report noted.
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