McAfee Says Crypto Mining Malware Increased 4,000% in 2018
Originally published on: CCN
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December 26, 2018
Did you know that crypto mining malware has increased 4,000% in 2018?
As crypto usage and popularity has rapidly grown since the end of 2017, so has the efforts of cybercriminals to exploit the growth for their own ill-gotten gains.
The stats come from a recent McAfee report that has detailed the sharp rise of crypto mining malware over the past 12-months.
The Upsurge in Crypto Mining Malware
The 2018 McAfee Labs Threat Report in December has shown a massive increase in crypto mining malware activity this year that is in the 4,000% region.
The report shows that the sharp rises began in the final quarter of 2017 through the first quarter of 2018. During the second quarter of the year, the figures dropped and then jumped again between the second and third quarter,
The figures have shown that crypto-criminals are now targeting miners with new cryptojacking malware. Crypto mining malware rose 71% in Q3 of 2018 alone according to McAfee. Criminals have been targeting those who use “routers or IoT devices such as IP cameras or video recorders as crypto miners” because they lack security and have weak CPUs.
McAfee also discussed a few examples of how crypto-criminals were exploiting the users of messenger services such as Telegram, Discord, and Slack to infect their computers with mining malware.
McAfee Labs December Report
Some of the main topics covered in the December McAfee Labs Threat Report discuss the increase in underground forums where cybercriminals meet, therefore boosting their effectiveness.
McAfee Labs is an American software company from California that is dedicated to cybersecurity. The firm was purchased back in 2011 by Intel and is predominantly known for its antivirus software.
Other topics in the McAfee report include the continuing boom times for crypto mining, and how crypto espionage is at an all-time high.
Another important company that unearths crypto and cyber-crime is the Russian cyber-security firm Kaspersky Labs. We recently covered research data from Kaspersky that showed a 40% increase in cryptojacking in 2018.
The Russian company, who are also antivirus software creators, talked about the massive rise in cryptojacking cases that reached 13 million in 2018. When put into perspective, the total of cryptojacking cases in 2017 was only 3.5 million.
As crypto reaches more people, it’s common sense that cyber-crimes using crypto mining malware and cryptojacking is on the increase. We need to be more vigilant than ever before while ensuring we have a heightened sense of security.
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