Trend Micro IT security company revealed that between January and July 2018, its researchers detected unauthorized encryption attacks, also known as "encryption", at a rate nearly 1000 percent higher compared to the second half of 2017. The information was revealed in the company's H1 2018 report entitled "Invisible threats, imminent losses."
From malware to cryptography
A significant insight into the report is that cybercriminals who previously favored the use of malware and ransomware to shake their victims are increasingly looking into the extraction of digital coins like a new frontier.
Explaining the new threat, an extract from the Trends Micro report reports:
"Over the next several months, we also noticed a noticeable shift from highly visible ransomware to more discrete detection: cryptocurrency mining. – from miners who quietly release power from victims' devices to dangerous vulnerabilities that leave machines open to hidden attacks – divide limited security resources and divide the attention of IT administrators. "
A type attack" cryptojacking ", which often escapes detection by network security personnel and users can have debilitating consequences on a network or IT equipment such as response times and extreme delays, physical deterioration of hardware due to increase in workload and overheating and peaks in energy use.
The attack is quite devastating because it exploits the computing power of an information system instead of its processor, which slows down the operating speed of the system with serious effects, particularly for business operations.
The report states that as expected in 2017, the identification of incidents and attempts at encryption has increased twice and, more pertinently, continues to expand as cybercriminals increasingly see a future in digital currency crime. According to the report, not only is the number of incidents increasing, but also the number of malware families for cryptography is increasing, which shows that bad actors are investing significant amounts of time and resources in developing cryptojacking as new area of criminal activity.
Analysis and statistics
The safety summary reveals that between January and July 2017, Trend Micro researchers have documented a 141% increase in unauthorized encryption incidents. In the same period, they also found 47 new families of cryptographic malware while hackers evolved and changed their ways of functioning.
Strategies used to gain access to systems to include cryptography including the inclusion of malvertising in Google's DoubleClick advertising program, inserting infected advertisements into websites, implementing the Adware ICLoader downloader and also uploading the script of mining on the advertising platform of AOL.
During 2018, there have been several reports of cryptojacking incidents involving hundreds of websites, including government websites and high-profile platforms by cybercriminals. Monero generally remains the cryptocurrency of choice for cryptocurrencies because it offers an almost total anonymity as well as market liquidity.
It is difficult to capture crystals and collect funds from the Monero wallet. This is because they use encryption services to recycle their crypto funds before withdrawing them. To avoid becoming a victim of cryptojacking, network security administrators are advised to periodically check for peaks in power usage, unusual energy consumption patterns, or other unauthorized activities on their networks.