With the current status of cryptocurrency and other initial coin offerings or ICOs, many scam and crimes online were surfaced utilizing these new economic avenues, the latest statistics will narrates how drastic the incumbent situation is.
Based on the latest Internet Security Threat Report, cryptocurrency mining attacks exploded in popularity as prices of cryptocurrency shifted in 2017, Symantec reported on Tuesday, April 10.
The report points to stealth cryptocurrency mining – also known as cryptojacking – growing as a threat, with an 8,500% increase in activity on endpoint computers.
Cryptojacking is the practice of stealthily using another computer user’s computing resources to mine for cryptocurrency.
This not only consumes electricity which the victim pays for, but also affects performance of devices affected by hidden cryptominers.
“Cryptojacking is a rising threat to cyber and personal security,” said David Rajoo, Symantec’s director for systems engineering in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
“The massive profit incentive puts people, devices, and organizations at risk of unauthorized coin miners siphoning resources from their systems, further motivating criminals to infiltrate everything from home PCs to giant data centers,” Rajoo added.
The shift towards cryptocurrency mining has also made ransomware attacks fewer, and yet more varied in the types of ransomware attacks done.
Symantec said the number of ransomware variants increased by 46%, indicating that criminal groups are innovating less but remain very productive.
Aside from the significant rise of cryptojacking as a practice, Symantec also discussed other avenues of attack.
Symantec said 71% of targeted attacks used spear phishing – sending targeted emails to steal information from unsuspecting respondents.