The cryptocurrency that’s overtaken Bitcoin as the main target of crypto jackers

As cryptojacking soars by over 300% in 2018, it seems that Bitcoin is no longer the main target…

Cryptojacking has been in the headlines a lot in 2018. It’s the practice by which a nefarious user uses malware to planet code on a person’s machine. Then, said malware secretly mines cryptocurrency in the background of said machine, generally without the user in question realising it. They may notice that their machine is running a little slower and harder than usual, but given that the malware tends to do no actual damage to files, often cryptojacking software remains undetected.

The aforementioned nefarious user, meanwhile, harvests cryptocurrency from oftentimes thousands of computers at once.

The annual security report from PandaLabs has just been published, and it lists cryptojacking as one of the three most successful malware attacks against companies in 2018.

Coinhive code in particular is cited in the report (having come to prominence since April in particular). Coinhive originally was designed to help websites bring in revenue without having to continually resort to advertising. However, it’s not being used more and more for less scrupulous reasons (and very much not as its creators intended it).

Panda reports that cryptomining has grown three and a half times since this time last year. It’s growing faster than another primarily malware threat, ransomware.

Monero miners, incidentally, making up nearly 70% of the cryptocurrency miners, and not Bitcoin as you might expect. Monero is lower profile, and easier to mine coins for, even if they bring in far less per coin.

The full annual report from Panda is available to view here.

As always, the recommendation remains to keep security software absolutely up to date.

Image: BigStock