The Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA) released the report on “The Illicit Cryptocurrency Mining Threat”. The phenomenon shows no signs of being just a phase for threat actors (cybercrime)
“Illicit mining shows no signs of being just a phase for threat actors, but will likely be a continuous and nearly effortless approach to revenue generation”. This is what revealed by The Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA)’s report on “The Illicit Cryptocurrency Mining Threat” just released. “As enterprises experiment with the use of blockchain technologies to conduct business operations, illicit mining outside of cryptocurrencies may itself become a disruptive risk that enterprises must mitigate. Because this threat is relatively new, many people do not understand it, its potential significance, or what to do about it”. Furthermore, “this activity poses both a short- and long-term threat to individuals and enterprises. This threat is not victimless or harmless, so individuals and organizations should take steps to protect their systems”.
The CTA: The cryptoMining phenomenon rapid growth shows no signs of slowing down
The CTA reminds on that, “as the values of various cryptocurrencies increase and their use becomes more prevalent, malicious cyber actors are using computers, web browsers, internet-of- things (IoT) devices, mobile devices, and network infrastructure to steal their processing power to mine cryptocurrencies”. The detections “have increased sharply between 2017 and 2018. Combined data from several CTA members shows a 459 percent increase in illicit cryptocurrency mining malware detections since 2017, and recent quarterly trend reports from CTA members show that this rapid growth shows no signs of slowing down. While the theft of computing cycles to make money may sound relatively benign in the face of other kinds of cyber incidents that can encrypt your data for ransom, steal your intellectual property, or disrupt important functions of critical infrastructure, it is a threat that cybersecurity providers and network defenders must address together to improve our overall cyber security”.
The potential impacts of illicit cryptocurrency mining on the enterprises and organizations
And “Business owners and individuals must understand the potential impacts of illicit cryptocurrency mining on their operations. In its most basic form, illicit mining is a drain on the resources in anyone’s enterprise, increasing the workload and the risk of physical damage on IT infrastructure, causing higher electrical bills, and decreasing the productivity of the business operations that rely on computing power. Most importantly, the presence of illicit cryptocurrency mining within an enterprise is indicative of flaws in their cyber security posture that should be addressed. The majority of illicit mining malware takes advantage of lapses in cyber hygiene or slow patch management cycles to gain a foothold and spread within a network. If miners can gain access to use the processing power of your networks, then you can be assured that more sophisticated actors may already have access”.