McAfee Report: Cryptocurrency Mining Malware to only Grow in Magnitude


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The crypto community is well aware of cryptojacking – a crypto-malware attack that uses the hosts’ computer power to mine cryptocurrencies without their knowledge. In what comes as unfortunate news for the budding community, the problem is only going to get worse. Per a report published by The McAfee Labs, dated September 25, 2018, cryptocurrency-related malware attacks continue to witness big spikes on the graph.

Cryptojacking Instances See a Steep Rise

While crypto miners work relentlessly to mine crypto tokens in exchange of the services provided, some of the four players in the crypto community prefer the easy way out.

Using crypto-malware, ‘cryptojackers’ mine digital tokens from the oblivious users’ computer systems.  According to the McAfee Threat Report, such illicit instances nearly doubled in Q2 of 2018 – witnessing a rise of approximately 85 percent.

(Source: McAfee)

The report, titled “McAfee Labs Threats Report,” further states that a total of 2.5 million new samples of the crypto leeching malware were found – while other forms of malware (e.g., ransomware) are also being remodeled to target cryptocurrencies.

It was also noted that the malware designed to exploit code vulnerabilities in software gained an upward trajectory of a whopping 151 percent in Q2 of 2018.


Lack of Barriers and Easy Money Incentivize Cryptojackers

The ease of orchestrating a crypto-malware attack is what makes cryptojacking a lucrative means of earning quick cryptocurrencies.

The rise of cryptocurrencies has led to a gradual shift of cyber crimes from ransomware to cryptojacking, as the latter is a more efficient and easy cybercrime to execute.

In a similar report published by The McAfee Labs in Q2 of 2018, it was concluded that the instances of cryptojacking experienced a massive upturn of around 629 percent in 2018, compared to 2017.

The crypto mining malware has preyed on some countries in the recent past, including Sweden and India.

BTCManager reported on March 28, 2018, how the cryptojacking attacks had overtaken ransomware attacks in Sweden, as they surged by a massive 10,000 percent in Q4 of 2017. The attacks didn’t even spare the Swedish Police Force’s website, as it was secretly being exploited to mine Monero (XMR) on the computers of all visitors.

On a more recent note, a report by The Economic Times revealed that crypto jackers continue to mint cryptocurrencies off of Indian government websites as they attract colossal traffic from users.