3 Million Attacks Detected With Cryptojacking On The Rise

Crypto Jacking on the Rise 3 Million Cryptojacking Attacks Detected

Cybercriminals continue to use illicit methods like cryptojacking to steal money. Cybersecurity expert, Quick Heal, recently revealed the breach of 3 million mobile users between January and May of 2018, a discovery that should remind everyone of the potential dangers. There has been a big increase in cryptojacking malware for mobile devices, a variant which rose from just eight in 2017 to 25 by May of the following year—and these numbers are also expected to grow with time.

Joint Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer, Sanjay Katkar, explains more, “Cryptojacking is emerging as a more cost-effective and efficient alternative to ransomware. With a ransomware attack, there is no guarantee that hackers will be paid a ransom. Cryptojacking, on the other hand, is empowering hackers to make use of infected endpoints for swifter and more assured financial gains. As of now, there are no reported instances of data loss in crypto jacking attacks.”

What Are Cryptojacking Attacks?

Cryptojacking is a form of cyberattack where criminals take over the processing power of an infected system to mine for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether. The mobile malware uses the resources of visiting devices or end users to facilitate Bitcoin mining or other related efforts.

Compared to ransomware attacks, cryptojacking is easier to deploy. The crypto mining code of the cybercriminal can infect the endpoint system through a malicious file. An email containing a harmful attachment will be sent to an unsuspecting user for download, and in many cases, it is opened without much question. As a result, the whole endpoint becomes infected and opens up a potential way for a cybercriminal to mine for coin. Another easy method employed by such hackers is to infect websites and pop-up advertisements with JavaScript-based crypto mining script, which is triggered when the user clicks on infected ads or visit breached websites. Using this strategy, cybercriminals don’t even have to install a cryptojacking code.

What does a cryptojacking attack look like?

Just like any other common cyberattack, an endpoint’s system performance is most affected by the breach. The user will likely notice their system has slowed down considerably, and applications that used to run smoothly now lag, refuse to execute certain tasks, or fail to launch entirely. These problems can lead to frequent system crashes, overheating, and permanently damaged hardware, not to mention a considerably shorter endpoint lifespan. Another sign of cryptojacking on desktops and laptops is an abnormally-high fan speed and increased operational noise. The battery on mobile devices will also overheat and malfunction.

How can Quick Heal Security Labs help users stay protected from cryptojacking attacks?

Quick Heal Security Labs expect cloud-based services will also soon be targeted, even though most cryptojacking attacks are currently being deployed against individual systems. Users can expect lighter and more refined versions of mining scripts to be deployed soon, a development that appears to herald an increase of a new phenomenon called “mining-malware-as-a-service” and an exponential increase of fileless crypto mining malware.

Consequently, Quick Heal suggests system owners deploy a robust security solution to defend against these types of cryptojacking attacks. Further, users must always update their security solutions with the latest and greatest security definitions and regularly update their OSes. Additional recommendations include installing an ad-blocker plugin (extension) on the user’s web browser, as it shields the machine from malicious links or email attachments. Experts also encourage people to implement stronger passwords and avoid posting sensitive or personal information online.

Julia Sowells499 Posts

Julia Sowells has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale enterprise security projects, and even writing technical articles and has worked as a technical editor for Rural Press Magazine. She now lives and works in New York, where she maintains her own consulting firm with her role as security consultant while continuing to write for Hacker Combat in her limited spare time.

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Login

Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Don't have account. Register

Lost Password
Register