Cryptocurrency-Related Cyber Attacks Surged By 459 Percent In 2018

Cyber attacks related to cryptocurrency have increased by 459% throughout 2018, according to a report by the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA). The projections for the next year seems to be even gloomier. Also, the report noted that hackers moved from illegally mining Bitcoin (BTC) to Monero (XMR).

The report states that hackers seeking to acquire cryptocurrency illegally have developed much more sophisticated types of cyber attacks. Now, they use more effective tools to carry out malware infections, a situation that has generated many more cases of successful cyber attacks of ransomware and cryptojacking in 2018. The latter is also the most popular methodology among hackers in 2018.

According to CTA’s report, the modality of hiding cryptojacking malware has proliferated in the format of scripts installed in the source code of web pages, with CoinHive being one of the best-known tools. Also, the hackers moved from hiddenly mining Bitcoin (BTC) to mining Monero (XMR) which is designed to keep the anonymity of the transactions.

Cyber attacks related to cryptocurrency increased by 459% in 2018, in comparison to previous years

Hackers install the miner in the web pages without the consent of the owner of the domain, thus running background crypto mining sessions that use the computing power of the visitors’ devices each time they access the infected site. Cryptojacking affected governmental portals in India, Chile, and Colombia, as well as the sites of some large companies.

The CTA report noted that hidden crypto mining attacks or cryptojacking have become increasingly sophisticated because they are challenging to detect with regular anti-virus programs and, in many cases, do not use the full processing power of the CPU, but only 20%, to keep themselves invisible.

Thus, the agency concluded that, compared to other years, cyber attacks related to cryptocurrency have increased by 459% in 2018, and that this trending is far from ending.

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