Skybox Security Report: Cryptojacking Is Bigger Threat Than Ransomware

Cryptacking has risen to the top of the top of the cyber threats with reports coming that it has even become a bigger nuisance for cybersecurity experts than ransomware.

An incredible 32% of all cyber crimes are done by crypto miners. Ransomware, on the other hand, makes up less than 8%.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is basically a type of malware that locks your computer and prohibits you from accessing it until you pay a demanded ransom. Nowadays, instead of locking a user’s keyboard or computer, individual files are encrypted using a private key which only the ransomware authors know. However, there is no guarantee that paying the ransom will unlock your computer.

In May 2017, a large-scale cyber-attack by the Wannacry Ransomware infected over 300,000 computers in 150 countries. Only the computers running on the Windows Operating System were affected.

What Is Cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking has become an increasingly popular way for bad actors to extract money from targets in the form of cryptocurrency. Cryptojacking takes a different approach, harnessing victims' machines to “mine”: perform the computations necessary to update cryptocurrencies' blockchains, creating new tokens and generating fees in the process. These new tokens and fees are deposited to wallets owned by the attacker, while the costs of mining – electricity and wear and tear to computers – are borne by the victim.

In order for cryptojacking to take effect, it needs to utilize a hidden code on a website or a device. While doing so it can harness the victim’s computing power or resources as the CPU and use it to mine cryptocurrency. Simply put, criminals use other people’s computers to mine for themselves.

2018 Is The Year For Cryptominers

If 2017 was the year of ransomware, 2018 looks likely to go down as the year of cryptominers. Malicious cryptomining made up nearly a third of attacks in the first half of 2018 — a statistic held by ransomware in the last half of 2017. Cryptomining malware is often able to run undetected, making money for attackers all the while, and goes directly to the source to make a profit rather than extorting individual victims. Cybercriminals seem all too happy to leverage these benefits.

Ransomware A Smaller Threat This Year Than 2017

Cybercriminals, by and large, seem to be gravitating toward cryptominers for their profit-making machine of choice. As would–be victims get wise to ransomware tactics, defenses have become better.

Proper backup systems and decryption programs have thwarted ransomware threats in many industries. However, as evidenced by attacks on healthcare and municipal organizations in the first half of 2018, ransomware remains a major concern, especially in vulnerable sectors. Successful attacks like WannaCry also remain a nuisance, hitting industrial giant Boeing a full ten months after the original outbreak.

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