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Symantec, there is an explosion of cyber-attacks related to cryptocurrencies

The Symantec ISTR 2018: cryptocurrencies is the new Gold Rush for cybercrime: there is an 8,500% increase in cryptojacking

There is an explosion of cyber-attacks (cryptojacking) related to Cryptocurrencies. It has been discovered by Symantec cybersecurity experts and published in the Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) 2018. “Cyber criminals who have been firmly focused on ransomware for revenue generation are now starting to explore other opportunities – the ISTR reported -. During the past year, the astronomical rise in cryptocurrency values inspired many cyber criminals to shift to coin mining as an alternative revenue source. This coin mining gold rush resulted in an 8,500 percent increase in detections of coinminers on endpoint computers during the final quarter of 2017. With a low barrier of entry—only requiring a couple lines of code to operate—cyber criminals are using coinminers to steal computer processing power and cloud CPU usage from consumers and enterprises to mine cryptocurrency”.

IoT is started to be used to mine en masse. In 2017 there has been an 600% increase in cyber-attacks

For Symantec cyber experts, “while the immediate impact of coin mining is typicially performance related—slowing down devices, overheating batteries and in some cases, rendering devices unusable—there are broader implications, particularly for organizations. Corporate networks are at risk of shutdown from coinminers aggressively propagated across their environment. There may also be financial implications for organizations who find themselves billed for cloud CPU usage by coinminers”. Not only. The ISTR reported that “as malicious coin mining evolves, IoT devices will continue to be ripe targets for exploitation. SymantecTM already found a 600 percent increase in overall IoT attacks in 2017, which means that cyber criminals could exploit the connected nature of these devices to mine en masse”.

The full Symantec ISTR report (file PDF)

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