New Report Claims Cryptojacking Attempts Increased by 78 percent in 2018

A new report on data security, released by cybersecurity company Darktrace presents  some very interesting observations on cyber attacks and crimes.

The report claims that cybercriminals are preferring a more subtle and planned approach to cyber attacks, which can earn them some significant financial gains. Cryptojacking happens to be one of the most popular forms of cybercrime that has been reported in the year 2018.

The statistics are quite alarming since the report reveals that cryptojacking attempts increased by 78 percent in 2018. It doesn’t however stop there. Allegedly the trend of cryptojacking is still going strong in 2019.

An article by ComputerWorld on this issue cites the comments of Max Heinemeyer, director of threat hunting at Darktrace, on the ongoing situation. The main problems for criminals who want to extort cryptocurrency, is that sometimes the victim doesn’t have the technical expertise to transfer crypto. In that case, cryptojacking becomes a popular practice amongst hackers who want to acquire crypto from their victims.

Heinemeyer added that “it [cryptojacking] is low and slow and guarantees a profit,” while ransomware does not. It is also a fact that cryptojacking malware can be created much easily by these hackers. He said:

“We’ve seen so many different variants of how these pieces of malware are spreading or being loaded.”

According to Heinemeyer, other forms of theft involving also stealing credit card credentials or finding out account passwords can be difficult and time consuming. These thefts also expose the hacker since a digital trail is left behind. Instead, cryptojacking offers the adequate amount of anonymity required.

United Kingdom saw a large number of such attacks in the past year. Around 400 devices and more were infected by a cryptojacking malware after an initial infection via a phishing email.

The Monero (XMR) blockchain is usually mined in such attacks, since unlike Bitcoin, it is more suited for mining on non-specialized, even consumer-grade, hardware.

This is a danger trend that is still on the rise and security needs to be tightened in order to protect devices against such cryptojacking.