Victims Were Cryptojacked A Total of 52.7 Million Times During the First Half of 2019
Criminals specialized in cryptojacking are very active this year. During the first six months of the year, the criminals seem to have attacked 52.7 million times. The number comes from SonicWall, a research group.
According to SonicWall, the six months saw an increase of 9% in cryptojacking activity, which was already going up exponentially in previous semesters.
Cryptojacking, in case you are not familiar with the term, is when someone uses a malware in order to use the victim’s computing power to mine cryptocurrencies while undetected. While Monero (XMR) is the most commonly mined token, the truth is that Bitcoin and other non-privacy coins are also mined.
Another interesting piece of evidence is that there is a certain correlation between the prices of Bitcoin and cryptojacking activity. The activity declines a bit when the prices go down but it goes up again as the prices rise. While, as we affirmed, more Monero is mined than Bitcoin, BTC tends to push the prices of the whole market up.
However, it should be noted that the report itself does not completely buy the idea that activity is related to price. For instance, Bitcoin reached its highest price in a good time in June, but the month had the lowest cryptojacking volume at the time. Because of this, there is no clear answer yet to this question, although we are able to see some imperfect correlation.
Coinhive Was Shut Down But It Is Still A Risk
Another important point that was debated by the researchers was that Coinhive, a famous Monero crypto mining site which was shut down this year, may still represent a risk.
A lot of computers who were infected by Coinhive-based malware were not cleaned up since then. This may end up becoming an issue if someone decides to revive the site by buying the domain again and using these computers which are currently infected. Many cybercriminals invested in Coinhive-based malware, so they would profit a lot from its resurgence.
Criminals Could Make Money Off Facebook’s Libra
Not even Facebook’s new Libra token was ignored by the report. Fortunately, the tokens will be minted and not mined, so we will not see a lot of cryptojacking malware, however, the researchers are not completely sure that Libra will not be targeted.
As soon as it is launched, SonicWall believes that a lot of online scams will pop up. Most of them will probably be related to sending Libra to malicious actors.
There are many Libra scams right now and the token was not even launched yet, so it is natural to assume that we’ll see a lot more of them in the future.