Crypto jacking seems to be dethroning ransomware as the top malware in cyberattacks. Crypto jacking is being adopted as the most common means of attacking in cyberspace ever since the crypto currency values went up.
Meanwhile, the number of attacks occurring with the usage of ransomware has gone down by more than half, with an exponential increase in crypto jacking. Therefore, crypto jacking crowns itself as the new top mode of cyber-attacks.
Symantec reports that ever since the cryptocurrency values went up, there has been an 8,500% increase in coin mining detections between August 2017 to December 2017, with an overall increase of 600% in the overall IoT attacks.
Crypto-mining is the act of mining cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, ether (from Ethereum), Ripple, Litecoin, Monero, and one (or more) of over 1,600 other cryptocurrencies currently in use.
Cryptojacking involves stealing digital currency by using the computer and graphics processing power. It is usually done from unsuspecting users’ devices to mine crypto, without their permission or knowledge.
It can also involve stealing already mined cryptocurrency from another’s crypto wallet. There are countless ways for attackers to mine cryptocurrency. There are about 98 million attack sensors installed in 157 countries for the detection of crypto-mining attempts, says Symantec.
Kaspersky reports from Moscow that cryptojacking has replaced ransomware as the new attack mechanism. Ransomware is in serious decline dropping by nearly half, which was reported to be 1,152,299 in 2016-17 and is now reduced to 751,606 in 2017-2018.
On the contrary, Crypto jacking incidents in these two years rose from 1.9 million to 2.7 million.
Crypto miners invade business computers and devices in a hidden mechanism like the ransomware but produce far more profitable results for attackers than ransomware.
Last year average ransom demand dropped to $522.
Cryptojacking is by far the easiest way to generate money. Comparing it to ransomware, we evaluate that the ransomware requires encryption of files on the victim’s computer, following which comes a demand of ransom from the attacker, for decrypting the files.
On the other hand, cryptojacking only requires an attacker to infect a system once, which results in money generation without the knowledge of the victim.
Crypto-mining is called cryptojacking when the attack proceeds on a system without authorization.
Cryptojacking is thus the usage of machine power to acquire possession of cryptocurrency without obtaining authorization from the users.
Browser cryptojacking is more readily adopted by cybercriminals as compared to ransomware since the in-browser cryptojacking requires no installation to run, allowing easy infection of machines.
It works by two mechanisms:
In the first method, a user is manipulated through social engineering tactics into clicking a link or downloading a malicious file. When this happens, the malicious script contained in the link or file runs in the background without notifying the victim.
In the second method, in-browser cryptojacking is involved, which means running a code in the browser whenever a particular site is accessed. The cryptojacking scripts are executed by Java Scripts usually hidden in some advertisement on the site. The cryptojacking is thus the silent killer of your digital wealth.
Crypto mining is a new technique used for generating money, that operates silently in the background of your device. Awareness of this malicious method is important to ensure maximum security of your device against crypto mining attempts.
Some individuals argue that it’s a legal and harmless procedure of making money online, whereas others call it a heinous crime. In some cases, it may even damage a device physically due to excessive use of power.
It’s important to apply the above-mentioned techniques to ensure protection of your digital wallet. Therefore, users need to be vigilant about the activities taking place on their device.