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Cryptojacking Attacks: What You Need To Know

14 May 2018 by Jenn Granger

Cybercriminals are in the money right now.

According to VentureBeat.com, cybercrime generates $1.5tn every year, with ransomware attacks contributing $1bn to that figure. Cybercriminals now earn 15% more than those in traditional crime.

And now there is a new contender.

Find out all about cryptojacking.

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Over the past year, cryptocurrency has been hitting the headlines hard. Those who invested just £10 in Bitcoin in 2010 could now be worth £1.6 million today, which is absolutely mindboggling. It’s no wonder people can be scared of this vast new market and its massive fluctuations.

Cybercriminals are now exploiting this goldmine. So far, malware and ransomware have been pick-axing their way through the many security measures and seeking out those vulnerabilities, but cryptojacking is set to take over, taking the hacking world by storm.

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What is it?

In short, Cryptojacking is the unauthorised use of someone else’s computing resources to mine cryptocurrency, and avoiding the costs of doing so.

Why is it different from ransomware?

Cryptojacking a hacking method which requires fewer skills than ransomware to operate, but can offer a much larger pay out.

Ransomware relies on small, fast, repeated attacks, harvesting low amounts of money, many times. Cryptojacking offers a much higher pay out and means attackers can do their mining cost-free.

Once infected, a machine begins to mine vast amounts of cryptocurrency in stealth-mode, unknown to the hardware’s owner.

Undetected

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world or what operating system you use, you can mine cryptocurrency. By injecting the malware into a mobile device, a server, desktop computer or an IoT device – basically any operating system – you’re good to go.

This means your computer, server or IoT device will run slower, as some of it’s processing power will secretly be involved in cryptomining. However, you won’t know.

That’s what makes it even scarier.

Yep, a recent study suggested that 15,000 hacked IoT devices working together can mine $1,000 of cryptocurrency in just four days.

How do they get in?

Brute-force attacks, unpatched vulnerabilities and compromised websites – the usual suspects. Now it’s more vital than ever to keep your systems protected and up to date!

So, what does this mean for me?

As with ransomware, you need to take extra precautions to ensure your systems are safe.

  • Invest in a multi-layered threat protection service
  • Use a respected ad-blocker
  • Keep your systems patched
  • Scan all uploads from remote devices or cloud applications before opening

Even if you don’t own cryptocurrency, advanced ransomware attacks like this are rife. Protect your data and network platforms with the highest level of security.

PROsecure™ is our comprehensive security suite, combining the latest technology with in-house expertise to ensure that threats are identified, diagnosed and neutralised.

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