The number of crypto mining malware attacks used by hackers has continued rising, with total samples growing by 86% in the second quarter of 2018, according to the latest threat report by cybersecurity firm McAfee Labs released September 25.
In the report, cybersecurity experts stated more that than 2.5 million new malware coin miner samples were found in Q2. In comparison, the number of crypto malware attacks in Q1 amounted to around 2.9 million, which is a 629 percent rise from around the 400,000 samples found in Q4 2017.
The report concluded that coin miner malware “remains very active,” following the general surge of crypto mining malware with “new coin miner threats [that] have jumped massively in 2018.”
Coin miner threats statistics. Source: McAfee Labs, 2018
Specifically, the report stresses the fact that cybercriminals have found “new angles” of illegal coin mining to raise profits, which is coming on the heels of a surge in popularity of crypto and blockchain technology. McAfee Labs also cited the recent threat report named “Don’t Join Blockchain Revolution Without Ensuring Security” to warn users of the emerging technologies about the associated risks.
Christiaan Beek, Lead Scientist and Senior Principal Engineer with McAfee Advanced Threat Research, commented to Business Wire that apart from PCs, low-CPU devices have become a new source of “profitable revenue stream” for cybercriminals.
Due to their “propensity for weak passwords,” as well as the ability to take over “tremendous volume” of devices such as Wi-Fi routers, video cameras, and other Internet-of-Things (IoT) appliances, they represent a “very attractive platform” for illicit crypto mining activities.
Last week, Cointelegraph reported that official government websites have become the main target for cryptojacking in India, including websites of municipal administrations.
In late August, Firefox announced that they will start blocking cryptojacking malware in future versions of their web browser, including crypto mining scripts that “silently mine cryptocurrencies” on users’ devices.