A new research has found that computers from Europe and South America were recently targeted by the Coinhive and Cryptoloot malware which targets the victim’s computers and steals their computing power which is used for mining cryptocurrencies.
Just a few years ago, e-mails were used to hack personal information of victims like credit card details and bank account details but now hackers have found renewed motivation because of the new profitable vertical of, “cryptocurrencies”.
Hackers are going after the cryptocurrency markets because there is a guaranteed source of income.
Mining, the process of mining cryptocurrencies is based on the computing power of the computers used by miners. It uses an algorithm called as ‘proof-of-work’ which measures the computing done by the miner’s computer and rewards them accordingly.
The hackers can steal someone’s computing power by embedding a rogue code in websites or software and use the computing power to mine cryptocurrencies.
Phil Norman, a cybersecurity expert from Reykjavik, says,
“This was expected because if hackers could hack and lock up computers then just using their computing power for mining would be a cakewalk. The worst part is that you wouldn’t it’s happening to you unless you look at it closely”
Rohman Lathif, Senior Advisor at a reputed company from Abu Dhabi, says,
“We have been checking all our servers and computers for unwanted and suspicious activity. Just a week ago, 74 workstations on the ground floor were affected by the Coinhive malware”
This week a cybersecurity firm Check Point published its regular Global Threat Index. It shows that Coinhive, a piece of software that uses processing power on someone’s device in order to mine cryptocurrency, has become the most prevalent form of malware on the Internet.
Another piece of crypto jacking malware, called Cryptoloot, is now the third most prevalent. “It may be becoming a more serious issue than ransomware,” says Finkelstein, referring to attacks like last year’s WannaCry and NotPetya, which lock up computers in exchange for payment.
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