- McAfee Labs says a total of 2.5 million cryptojacking malware have been discovered in Q2.
- Hackers upgrading older strains of malware to target crypto holders.
- Software vulnerability-exploiting malware also increased by 151 percent.
Even with the current cryptocurrency market downturn that has made the price of bitcoin and several altcoins to nearly hit rock bottom, cryptocriminals’ interest in DLT-based cryptoassets has not cooled off one bit. According to a TechRadar report on September 25, 2018, McAfee Labs Threat Report for September has revealed that 2.5 million new samples of crypto-linked malware were discovered in Q2 of 2018.
Crypto Hackers Getting More Sophisticated
Per TechRadar, the McAfee Labs Threat Report for September 2018 found that hackers succeeded in installing various types of cryptocurrency-focused malware on people’s computers in quarter 2 of 2018.
The report stated that a total of 2.5 million new variants of cryptojacking malware were discovered, representing a whopping 85 percent increase as compared to the previous quarter.
For the uninitiated, cryptojacking is the process whereby hackers use people’s computers to remotely mine cryptocurrencies without their consent.
In most cases, these bad actors mine Monero (XMR) and other altcoins using this method.
Though the report claims there has been a 57 percent increase in ransomware attacks, it’s however worth noting that since cybercriminals turned to cryptojacking, there have been fewer severe cases of bitcoin ransomware attacks like the WannaCry ransomware outbreak of May 2017, that affected more than 300,000 computers globally.
The McAfee report has revealed that hackers are now retooling their older strains of malware which were previously used to carry out ransomware attacks, to now focus on digital assets.
Earlier in May 2018, it was reported that Aditya Birla Group, one of India’s largest business conglomerates had fallen victim to cryptojackers.
At the time, more than 2,000 computers of the firm were hijacked to mine Monero (XMR).
McAfee also noted that the hackers did not spare smartphones. The report revealed that a 27 percent increase in mobile malware was discovered in the second quarter.
McAfee Labs claim to have also discovered security holes vulnerabilities in Internet of Things devices (IoT) like the Belkin Wemo smart plug.
Firefox to the Rescue
As previously reported by Blockchain Reporter on September 2, 2018, Firefox has made it clear that it will soon roll out anti-cryptojacking browsers to permanently crush the activities of hackers.