Cryptojacking Malware On The Rise, 59% Of UK Companies Polled Affected
According to a recent survey made by OnePoll and commissioned by the software company Citrix, a number of 59 percent of the UK companies have already been affected by cryptojacking malware. Around half these cases took place just last month, according to the survey.
OnePoll asked 750 IT executives from companies based in the United Kingdom with more than 250 employees about their experience with cryptojacking attacks. From these cases, at least 80 percent of them took place in the past six months, meaning that the trend is very recent and coincides with the rise of the cryptocurrencies in the mainstream media.
From these 80 percent, 30 percent of them were affected in the last month, which may be signalizing that the trend is far from over even with the cryptocurrency bear market in the recent months.
What Is Cryptojacking?
Cryptojacking is the popular name of a type of malware that employs the computational resources of the victim without their permission to mine cryptos for an attacker. This wastes electrical energy, slows down the device that is affected and might even overheat it in some cases.
Generally, cryptojacking spreads like any normal malware. You can open an email with it or maybe you can be infected by clicking on the content of a site on the internet. Most cryptojacking software mines popular tokens like Bitcoin or privacy coins like Monero.
Multiple Devices Have Been Hit In The Affected Companies
Taking the scale of the affected companies as a measure, 60 percent of the respondents said that up to 50 devices had been affected while in 11 percent of the cases, the numbers were over 100. Cryptojacking malware spreads fast, so many machines were affected.
An interesting note is that 67 percent of the companies had formal policies of how to deal with cryptojacking attacks as soon as they happened, which is surprising when you consider that this is a very new type of cyber attack and that it was very uncommon before the end of 2017.
In fact, the number of attacks went up 629 percent at the first quarter of 2018, according to McAfee Labs, which means that it is becoming a very real threat to companies and individuals.
Even as the attacks stopped to grow so much after the second quarter of 2018, mainly due to the cryptocurrency bear market and the decrease in prices, the malware is still very popular and has making many victims lately, so it is important to protect yourself.