The Lucrative Threat of Cryptocurrency Mining
A jump of 725 percent over a four-month period at the end of 2017 occurred for the number of domains hosting cryptocurrency mining scripts. Malware threats may accompany the massive drain of computing resources required for the mining process.
On a scan of 500,000 websites analyzed by Internet security firm Cyren, some machines were running cryptocurrency mining scripts without the owners being aware. Sites supporting the mining of cryptocurrencies such as Monero doubled in December 2017 and January 2018 supporting the claim that such activities are ramping up significantly.
To harness power for cryptocurrency mining, almost anything can be used for these nefarious purposes. Avast showed how cryptocurrency mining scripts could be injected into smartphones and connected home devices at the Mobile World Congress, which around the time that Cyren published its research, NewsBTC reported. As much as $1,000 could be made by cybercriminals in four days by taking over 15,000 Internet of Things connected (IoT) devices.
As reported by Fortune, a big-name target with lots of computing power at its disposal is another option for illegal crypto-mining. Fraudsters used this motive to hijack an Amazon Web Services account owned by car manufacturer Tesla.
Organizations are likely to see more incidents like these with even more dire consequences as the international cryptocurrency market garners more attention.