Cryptojacking - the preferred alternative to ransomware attacks, report shows

Tuesday 26 June 2018 00:54 CET | News

Cryptojacking, a form of cyberattack in which hackers hijack the infected system’s processing power to mine cryptocurrency, is fast emerging as an alternative to ransomware.

According to IT security company Quick Heal, this type of cyberattack has hit more than three million users across the world in the first five months of 2018. The number of mobile cryptojacking malware variants has also grown from eight in 2017 to 25 by May 2018, marking a three-fold increase, Quick Heal said in a statement on June 25, according to First Post.

As more cybercriminals leverage cryptojacking as a lucrative channel for generating illicit revenues, Quick Heal Security Labs researchers expect these numbers to grow even further. As opposed to ransomware, cryptojacking attacks remain almost undetected, enabling attackers to use the compromised systems to mine cryptocurrencies for as long as they want.

Attacks can be launched in two ways: either the hacker drops a cryptomining code on the user’s system without his/her knowledge through an infected link or file, or the cybercriminal infects websites and pop-up ads with a JavaScript-based cryptomining script, which is triggered when users click on infected ads or visit compromised websites.

In such instances, attackers do not even need to install a code; just opening the infected link is enough to turn systems into a cryptomining machine and generate instant returns on investment for the hacker, Quick Heal said.

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Keywords: Cryptojacking, cyberattack, cryptomining, ransomware, JavaScript, online security, cybercriminal
Countries: World

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