According to a crypto jacking report published by the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA), crypto mining malware infections are up nearly 500% in 2018.
Crypto Mining Malware Report
The threat of illicit cryptocurrency mining represents an increasingly common cybersecurity risk of enterprises and individuals. According to the report, the CTA found that malware detections were up 459% between 2017 and 2018.
“Combined threat intelligence from CTA members show that this rapid growth shows no signs of slowing down, even with recent decreases in cryptocurrency value,” the company writes in a preface.
The threat is relatively new, and many people do not understand it. The CTA states that the operations are becoming much more sophisticated now and the crypto mining malware is becoming harder to detect.
The report signifies the Monero mining campaign, Smominru, as an example. Analysts have recently observed widespread attackers successfully employing legitimate functionality to execute and download miners that is far too difficult for any antivirus software to detect.
NSA Software Flaw
Bloomberg reported that these hackers have been able to generate Monero, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies by exploiting the software flaw that was leaked by the US government.
As of July of 2018, 85 percent of all the illicit cryptocurrency mining has targeted Monero. No surprise there. Monero has been highly criticized in the past, as it allows its users to secretly send and receive money without showing any trace of identity.
Bitcoin made up around eight percent of the illicit mining, and the other altcoins accounted for seven percent, according to the report.
The flaw in the code gained notoriety when North Korea and Russia used it in massive attacks. It seems the hackers were overshadowed by the larger hackers and managed to get away with a lot of illegal digital coins.
When hackers illicitly generate cryptocurrency using others’ computers, it creates ‘free’ money for them and could erode the value of the currency being made by increasing its supply.
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