McAfee Labs Threats Report Shows Cryptocurrency Malware Increase up 86% in Q2

McAfee Labs Considers Cryptocurrency Malware Increased 86% in Q2

In a press release uploaded on September 25, researchers at McAfee Labs analysed crypto mining malware attacks and other vulnerabilities related to blockchain technology.

On its McAfee Labs Threat Report from September 2018, the company examines the growth and trends of cyber threats during the second quarter of 2018. McAfee Labs concluded that there was a surge in crypto mining malware, something that began in Q4 2017 and continued during the current year.

Although the company explains that crypto mining malware is a less common attack than ransomware, the crypto mining malware is currently an important factor that threats the landscape. Cryptomining malware has grow 629% and reached 2.9 samples during the first quarter of 2018. In the second quarter, the total samples grew 86% reaching more than 2.5 million samples.

As per the report, crypto mining malware has affected primarily PCs. However, there is an increasing number of other devices that have been exploited. In South Korea and China, for example, Android phones were exploited by the ADB.Miner malware.

Christiaan beek, Lead Scientist and Senior Principal Engineer with mcAfee Advanced Threat Research, said:

“A few years ago, we wouldn’t think of internet routers, video-recording devices, and other Internet of Things devices as platforms for crypto mining because their CPU speeds were too insufficient to support such productivity. Today, the tremendous volume of such devices online and their propensity for weak passwords present a very attractive platform for this activity.”

The McAfee Mobile Research team was able to find a new way of attacking users in which they were stealing their billing addresses. This was found on at least 15 different applications on Google Play. This demonstrates that there are new ways for criminals to steal users’ funds even on official stores such as Google Play.

As per the report, McAfee Labs was able to detect five new threats per second. The total number of ransomware sample has also grew during the past four quarters. At the same time, mobile malware samples has also grew in the second quarter, registering a 27% growth. Moreover,a 204% increase in JavaScript malware shows that hackers seems to have developed a new generation of JavaScript malware.

Other attacks were linked to LNK malware and Spam botnets. LNK malware continues to grow since criminals use .Ink shortcuts to deliver malicious PowerShell scripts among other malware. In addition to it, the Gamut spam botnet was able to outpace all the others in the second quarter. Some of the campaigns were related with employment offers that are used as a money mule recruitment tactic.

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