Kaspersky Lab: Cybercriminals Are Moving from Ransomware to Cryptojacking
As per a report that has been published by Kaspersky Lab, there has now recently been a major shift in cyber-attacks from ransomware attacks to crypto mining – malware attacks. This type of attack is called as crypto jacking and has become all the more profitable for hackers and is one of the major reasons one can now see in ransomware attacks. And it totally makes sense.
WannaCry, a very infamous ransomware last year in 2017, had caused a global disaster and quite a havoc after having spread to numerous organizations and many important firms in the UK including several UK National Health Service hospitals across England and Scotland. The ransomware targeted all the files on the user’s on the computer and had them all encrypted and demanded the user to pay the ransomware in bitcoins to unlock all the files. The ransomware targeted and exploited those users that used Microsoft Windows. The report nevertheless referred to them as an “isolated surge than a trend.”
The report stated:
“The total number of users who encountered ransomware fell by almost 30%, from 2,581,026 in 2016-2017 to 1,811,937 in 2017-2018. There has been a significant decline, of about 22.5%, of ransomware attacks on mobile devices.”
About an increase of 44.5% in the number of users have encountered some form of malicious miners in the last year alone. What has contributed in making cryptojacking a more lucrative attack sector as when compared to ransomware are certainly easy to identify factors like the simple monetizing model of mining, discreteness of mining software, and the ease of creating these miners.
Countries such as India and China that are developing very rapidly make up for one-third of the smartphone devices in the world as a target to be hacked. The report also goes to discuss a browser type od based mining that carries out on its own by executing a special kind of script without the victim’s knowledge directly into the victim’s web page.
The report states,
“The number of targeted attacks on businesses, for the purpose of installing miners, raises questions about whether mining might eventually follow in the footsteps of ransomware actors. Big money loves silence, and if miner actors attract as much attention to themselves as ransomware did, life will get complicated for them.”
The American Cybersecurity firm, McAfee has concluded that crypto jacking malware and similar crypto related cybersecurity issues were on the rise. As compared to last year, the report also claims that there have been a 600% rise in crypto-malware attacks in the first quarter of 2018 alone.
McAfee states to Steve Grobman of Financial Times that, ““With the rise in the value of cryptocurrencies, market forces are driving criminals to crypto jacking and the theft of cryptocurrency.”