Perhaps Not Bitcoin, But Crypto Mining Malware is on Fire

Perhaps Not Bitcoin, But Crypto Mining Malware is on Fire

Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin could be on the dark side in 2018, but there is a mining-related topic that is on fire this year, the crypto mining malware activity rose by 4,000 percent in 2018 according to a report published by McAfee.

California based cybersecurity company published its annual McAfee Labs Threats Report, and there is one significant finding for the crypto industry, ransomware actors are “switching to a more lucrative business model: crypto mining.”

The report says that coin miner malware is hijacking systems to mine cryptocurrencies without the consent or awareness of computers’ owners.

“Cryptomining Boom Times Continue,” says the report. “Mining cryptocurrency via malware is one of the big stories of 2018. Total “coin miner” malware has grown more than 4,000% in the past year.”

Malicious crypto-miners grew around 55 percent in the third quarter of 2018, with an annual growth of 4,467 percent between 2017 and 2018.

Internet of things devices are also a target for new malware, “new malware targeting IoT devices grew 72%, with total malware growing 203% in the last four quarters. New coin mining malware grew nearly 55%, with total malware growing 4,467% in the last four quarters.”

The report highlights that the Internet of Things targeting is surprising as the low CPU power of this kind of devices. “cybercriminals have taken notice of the growing volume and lax security of many IoT devices and have begun to focus on them, harnessing thousands of devices to create a mining super-computer.”

MAC OS systems are also on alert as “security researcher Remco Verhoef discovered a Mac OS threat later named OSX.Dummy, which was distributed on crypto mining chat groups. The exploitation is simple, requiring victims to execute a one-line command in the OSX terminal to download and execute the payload.”

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