New Webroot Report Shows Crypto Mining Malware And Cryptojacking Are On The Rise In 2019
Cryptomining And Cryptojacking Are On The Rise Shows Report Released By Webroot
The Smarter Cybersecuriy company Webroot, has released the 2019 Webroot Threat Report. The investigation shows very interesting things regarding cybersecurity issues. One of the notable findings shows that although the crypto market has been in a bear trend, there are still some security issues regarding cryptojacking and crypto mining attacks.
As per the report, despite this bear trend in the space, the number of cryptojacking URLs Webroot saw during the first part of 2018, more than doubled between September and December 2018.
According to the report, these attacks can be more profitable for hackers than ransomware attacks. Indeed, it is not necessary for these hackers to wait for the user to perform a payment. As soon as the computer is infected, miners can start working on the background. Moreover, if the malware is installed on a website, users do not need to do anything and the hacker would already be earning money by stealing users’ funds.
One of the dominant software used by attackers is known as Coinhive, which has been expanding in the market since it was launched. It allows hackers to inject it in a specific website and consume visitors’ power to mine virtual currencies such as Monero (XMR) – which can be mined using CPU power.
Hal Lonas, the CTO of Webroot, explained:
“We wax poetic about innovation in the cybersecurity field, but you only have to take one look at the stats in this year’s report to know that the true innovators are the cybercriminals.”
He went on explaining that they will continue to find new ways to combine attack methods or compromise new and existing vectors to improve their results. Lonas said that businesses must be aware, assess the risk they have and create a layered approach that protects several threat vectors.
As per the report, Monero is one of the preferred coins to be used for cryptojacking-related attacks. Besides the fact that the transactions cannot be tracked and it provides users with greater privacy, Monero has an algorithm that is ASIC resistant and that allows individuals to mine the digital asset with CPU power. Additionally, more than 4.3 percent of all Monero in circulation has been mined illicitly using victim’s hardware.
The report highlights that strong-arm robberies of crypto investors and traders resulted in the loss of millions of dollars and even loss of life. Moreover, more than $731 million in virtual currencies was stolen from crypto exchanges was stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges during the first half of 2018.
One of the hardest attacks was performed to Coincheck, a cryptocurrency exchange located in Japan. At that time, over 500 million NEM (XEM) tokens were lost. Another exchange hacked was BitGrail, losing a large amount of NANO coins.
The report released by Webroot shows that there are several browsers that are trying to improve their protection capabilities against cryptojacking. However, the effectiveness of cryptojacking protection may decline as time passes due to improved techniques from hackers.
Phishing attacks are also affecting the whole cryptocurrency industry. Indeed, there have been reports that several users at exchanges entered fake sites that were almost identical to other exchanges. The report says that there were 20 different industries affected by phishing attacks. Cryptocurrency and retail represent 2.53% of all the phishing attacks registered by the company. Meanwhile, 77% of these attacks have been targeted at financial institutions.
Tyler Moffitt, a security analyst, predicts that cryptocurrencies will occupy a larger percentage of the targets for phishing attempts. There are many targets using exchange or web wallets that are highly vulnerable to human mistakes.
He also anticipates that Monero will continue becoming the cryptocurrency of choice for cybercriminals because of its private ledger and fungibility. Bitcoin is not anonymous, compared to what most individuals without basic knowledge about cryptocurrencies believe.
In the future, cryptojacking and cryptomining attacks could keep expanding in the market. They have already surpassed ransomware in volume, since they provide quicker paths to profit, despite the dramatic fluctuations in the value of virtual currencies.
Monero is currently the 13th largest digital asset in the market, and it has a market cap of $834 million. Each XMR coin can be purchased for just $50.