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Cyber Criminals are turning into Cryptominers, Dominating Cyber Threat Landscape

15 Feb, 2018
Cyber Criminals are turning into Cryptominers, Dominating Cyber Threat Landscape

According to Check Point, during the period July to December 2017, one in five Organizations are affected by crypto mining malware, tools that enable cybercriminals to hijack the victim's CPU or GPU power and existing resources to mine cryptocurrency, using as much as 65% of the end-users CPU power.

2017 was a crazy year for cybersecurity experts. A massive number of ransomware and cyber-security meltdowns made headlines every day. As hackers are becoming advanced, they are looking for more lucrative ways to make money. According to Check Point 2017 Global Threat Intelligence Trends Report, cyber-criminals have come up with a new trick! They are using cryptomining to develop illegal revenue streams, while ransomware and ‘malvertising’ adware continue to impact organizations worldwide.

2017 saw the dramatic rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and the increasing demand for digital currencies pushed its price further. It was 2009 when the Bitcoin software was made available to the public for the first time along with mining.

A malicious script was found and tracing it back to its source revealed that there is a website plug-in which helps people with low vision, dyslexia, and low literacy to access the internet. According to a report by a technology news site, The Register - recently thousands of websites including ones run by US and United Kingdom government agencies were infected with code that causes web browsers to secretly mine digital currencies.

"If you want to load a crypto miner on 1,000+ websites you don't attack 1,000+ websites, you attack the 1 website that they all load content from", Mr. Helme the founder of securityheaders.io and report-uri.com, wrote on his blog.

Maya Horowitz, Threat Intelligence Group Manager at Check Point commented: "The second half of 2017 has seen crypto-miners take the world by storm to become a favorite monetizing attack vector. While this is not an entirely new malware type, the increasing popularity and value of cryptocurrency have led to a significant increase in the distribution of crypto-mining malware.

"While crypto-miners are commonly used by individuals to mine their own coins, the rising public interest in virtual currencies has slowed the mining process, which depends directly on the number of currency holders. This slowdown has increased the computational power needed to mine crypto-coins, which led cybercriminals to think of new ways to harness the computation resources of an unsuspecting public," reads a statement by the company.

There is no denying the fact that there is an increasing awareness among businesses across the world for the need of security, thanks to the growing level of cyber threats. Companies are emphasizing the importance of training and certification with solution adoption in order to strengthen security infrastructure.

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