Is Cryptocurrency-Mining Malware on the Rise?

Cryptojacking is becoming increasingly profitable for cyber-attackers, and we are only at the beginning of this type of cybercrime; it is how this threat should be and where the next threat could be.

Cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to make money, and ransomware has been the cyber attack of choice for many of the last two years for those looking to make a quick buck.

However, attackers have recently abandoned ransomware in favour of a new method of making money on the internet: cryptocurrency mining.

Like many others, cyber criminals recognised the potential riches that can be obtained by using computer-controlling power in mine applications, particularly after the Bitcoin boom of late last year.

However, rather than investing legally in specialised cryptocurrency systems, criminals rely on cryptojack malware to do their work.

The Idea Is Simple

Unwitting victims have malware infected their computer or smartphone, which uses the CPU’s power to mine the currency and profit back into the attacker’s wallet.

Apart from heavily using the PC fan and increasing the energy cost by using the computer, it cannot be obvious that cryptojacking is not heavily pushed, as the average person who is not a little noisier than usual is unlikely to be concerned about the computer.

Criminals conduct themselves in the manner of a business. “When you’re going to get the money, you want to make as much money as is at risk,” Mike McLellan, senior security researcher at SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit, told ZDNet. “Crypto-currency mining is a good return on your investing and a low risk approach.

“The fact that cryptojacking does not necessitate interactions with victims in the same way that ransomware does provides crooks with a number of advantages, including the fact that the user is unaware that his machine is infected with malware, allowing the operation to be sustained rather than making payments at the same rate as ransomware.

Cryptojacking is becoming more appealing

Cryptojacking is also becoming more appealing to assailants because it not only directs funds directly into assailant bags without interacting with victims, but because crypto-monnaie is anonymous, there is no need for elaborate systems to conceal or launder profits, as is the case with certain other forms of cybercrime. 

“Some frameworks you need to work with to get it back into your pouch without being easily traceable when dealing with regulated currencies,” Randi Eitzman, Senior FireEye cyber security analyst, told ZDNet.

The use of cryptocurrency benefits criminals. To launder currencies, you do not need a money washing system.

Although the initial profits of cryptocurrency mining aren’t as soon as those from the ranch or the sale of stolen credentials, those who have invested heavily in this area in the last year alone have raised millions of dollars.

It is simple and can be distributed via phishing campaigns, malvertising, compromised websites or even downloads of software. The aim is to avoid being captured once on a system.

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