3 Million Attacks Detected With Cryptojacking On The Rise
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.
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 Sowells318 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.