‘More Than 4000 Percent Growth in Crypto Mining Malware This Year’: McAfee Report 2018

As per the research conducted by the U.S. cybersecurity firm- McAfee, there has been a growth of over 4000 percent in crypto mining malware this year. The report elaborated that only in the third quarter of 2018, there have almost 4 million mining malware threats reported. Whereas, the years went by reported- less than 500,000 such cases.

Further, the McAfee research report revealed a 73 percent hike in IoT device malware, an increase of 71 percent in crypto mining malware, a 20 percent increase in ‘financial sector data breach’ and ransomware increased by 10 percent in just the third quarter of 2018. According to the reports from CoinDesk, the report further says-

“Many ransomware actors are switching to a more lucrative business model: crypto mining. […] The cybercriminals have taken notice of the growing volume and lax security of many IoT devices and have begun to focus on them, harnessing thousands of devices to create a mining supercomputer. New malware targeting IoT devices grew by 72 percent, with total malware growing 2013% in the last four quarters. New Coin mining malware grew nearly 55 percent, with total malware growing 4,467 percent in the last four quarters.”

According to the security researcher at McAfee, Remco Verhoef IoT such as IP cameras or video recorders can’t be considered as a medium of crypto mining because of the capacity of the CPUs installed in such IoTs are not very powerful to conduct crypto mining. Verhoef warned against- lack of ‘proper security controls’ because this can allow cybercriminals to take advantage of the CPU speed. He further explained that by gaining access to thousands of such devices, cybercriminals could make money.

He also revealed that a new Mac OS threat had been discovered. The name of this threat is OSX.Dummy. This threat is getting passed around in chat groups. Upon downloading this software- in order to ‘solve any crypto problems’, this software then contaminate the computers with malicious code. This is how the user invites the problem unknowingly.

In the month of July, more than 1,00,000 computers were hacked in China for crypto mining. These computers were used to mine more than 2 million dollars worth of cryptocurrencies in more than two years. As per the reports from CoinDesk, the hackers designed a malware that embedded into the internet browser plug-ins. These plug-ins were for various uses such as to increase internet browsing speed. They flashed these plugins in the form of online ads which infected 5 million computers in China. The Da Lian’s police have arrested 20 suspects from a computer technology firm for illegal cryptocurrency mining.

As per the reports from Citirix, in August this year, almost 60 percent of businesses in the U.K. were struck by crypto mining malware. AS per the reports from ZDNet-
“the research found that 60 percent of afflicted firms said less than 50 computers had been infected, while a tenth said over 100 machines had likely hosted illicit mining code.”

On the other hand, in Brazil, in August this year, Trustwave (a security firm) reported an attack that aims MicroTik routers. This malware installed ‘Coinhive software’ on more than 17,000 devices in the country.

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Gary Smith is freelance writer having 5 years of experience in writing crypto related articles, news stories and web contents. Basically, he is a computer science graduate. He always stay up-to-date with latest technolgy and crypto trends. He is also strong beliver in cryptocurrencies and blockchain world.

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