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Crypto Attacks Rise: Monero Prime Target

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 19:38
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Urvashi Verma
Crypto miners surge to the top of incidents displacing ransomware, as the number one cybersecurity threat in the Q1 2018
Crypto Attacks Rise: Monero Prime Target
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Cryptominers surged to the top of detected malware incidents in the first quarter of 2018,  report released by Comodo Cybersecurity today says.

"Criminals' proclivities to steal money more efficiently were evident with the surge in crypto mining,” said Dr. Kenneth Geers, the chief research scientist at Comodo Cybersecurity.

Cryptomining attacks grew to 28.9 mln, nearly 10 percent of all malware incidents in the first quarter of this year. The total number of unique crypto miners rose by 35 percent to 127,000 in March from 93,500 in Jan., the report said.


Why crypto mining attacks are on the uptick

After Bitcoin catapulted to $20,000 in 2017 cryptocurrencies became a prime target for attacks. Factors driving the surge were high values of cryptocurrencies, and that crypto miner attacks can remain in infected machines or websites and go for long periods of time unnoticed and are often left unaddressed by users because of their increased performance, Comodo analysts say.

Monero prime target for hackers

Monero has replaced Bitcoin, as the prime target for crypto miners' malware in recent months because hides transactions and cannot be tracked or linked to previous transactions. It also creates blocks every two minutes, which provides more opportunities for attack and is designed for mining on ordinary computers, the report said.


Hackers can easily subvert Coinhive, Crypto-Loot

Companies that offer website owners a way to monetize their sites by allowing customers to use their computer for mining were also at risk.  The short JavaScript that enables the opt-in service was stolen by cybercriminals and spread worldwide by embedding the code into websites, Chrome extensions, specific domains and malvertising, without the user's permission to make money by mining cryptocurrencies, the report found.

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About the author

Urvashi Verma is a Chicago-based reporter who writes about the convergence of technology and business. She is interested in fintech, digital currencies, blockchain and currency markets. Urvashi formerly worked with the Times of Israel covering Israel's booming tech industry including Start-Up Nation, venture capital investment, and crowd-funding platforms.