Episode 77: The rise of crypto mining malware

2018 looks likely to go down as the year of crypto-miners. According to new research, malicious crypto-mining made up nearly a third of attacks in the first half of 2018.

Essentially, crypto mining uses computational power to create new blocks in the block chain of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. As more blocks are added to the chain, more power is needed. Crypto mining starts entering malicious territory when it uses other’s computational power without their explicit permission.

Cybercriminals have taken an interest in utilizing the computing resources of compromised systems to mine cryptocurrency. They’ve targeted Windows servers, laptops, Android devices and even IOT endpoints. Compared to other types of malware, unauthorized crypto mining on a host is often undetected or shrugged off as a nuisance. Being able to fly under the radar means less risk for cybercriminals, and the longer they go undetected, the more cryptocurrency they can mine.

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