Due to hard detection and easy execution of the attack, 2018 has seen excessive crypto mining malware.
Cryptojacking attacks are based on cryptocurrency mining software injection into thousands of devices, leveraging its processing capabilities to extract the digital assests without the user’s consent. As a result, the victims’ computer equipment slows down, as well as increasing electricity consumption.
Each time a cryptocurrency exchange is made, a cryptocurrency miner is in charge of making sure the purity of data and refreshing the blockchain with the exchange. The mining procedure itself includes competing with other crypto miners to take care of confused mathematical issues with cryptographic hash functions that are related with a block containing the exchange inforamtion.
The more processing power under the control of a miner, the greater their chances of solving the equation as more answers can be attempted in a shorter timeframe. The first miner to solve the equation is credited with cryptocurrency as a reward.
As the cryptocurrency in circulation approaches, its supply limit mining the mathematical complexity to mine new units becomes increasingly difficult, thus requiring more processing power.
According to the McAfee report, crypto mining malware activity has grown more than 4000% and increases by 71% in the third quarter of 2018.
With the huge spike in the price of Bitcoin, it brought many people onto the hype train that previously didn’t even know what cryptocurrency was.
A Warning to All Consumers and Firms
With a number of companies looking to turn their system downtime into cryptocurrency miners, the report from McAfee does warn that the increase in malware may lead to further security breaches. This is particularly in instances where certain malware identified is capable of disabling (or more accurately bypassing) Windows Defender.
Attackers have been targeting those who use routers and IoT devices such as IP cameras, video recorders because they lack security and have weak CPUs.
In 2018, hackers began diversifying their methods to hide mining malware, integrating it to legitimate software updates. In addition, thousands of routers in all parts of the world were also injected with mining software.
The trend could be maintained during 2019 also, due to the lack of awareness about this kind of attacks, a easy and economic implementation and its difficulty to detect.
Few Suggestions to Mitigate Crypto Mining Malware Attack
- Use a reputable antivirus or antimalware program and set to update automatically.
- Monitor the process list on your device to ensure only authorized processes are running.
- Avoid clicking online advertisements or pop-ups.
- Use web browsers that proactively block cryptocurrency-mining script or install a reputable ad-blocking or coin-blocking extension.
- If you notice slowed device performance, run a full system scan using a reputable antivirus or antimalware solution.
- Only download software and files from legitimate sources.