Kaspersky Labs – Cryptojacking cases quadrupled in 2018

  • By Tom Cleveland

  • January 8, 2019
  • 2:16 am BST

A cybercrime wave is sweeping the planet, but the evidence of fraud and criminal activity in the cryptocurrency world has been off the charts. The crypto ecosphere has evolved without regulatory oversight or standard EDP operational audits to highlight weak points in security protocols. Professional hacking teams have opened the doors to the vault on several occasions. On a current perspective, a new report from Kaspersky Labs indicates that cryptojacking cases in 2018 have risen 400%.

What is cryptojacking? Cryptojacking (also called malicious cryptomining) is an emerging online threat that hides on a computer or mobile device and uses the machine’s resources to “mine” forms of online money known as cryptocurrencies. It’s a burgeoning menace that can take over web browsers, as well as a compromise all kinds of devices, from desktops and laptops, to smart phones and even network servers.” Kaspersky revealed that, “Cases of cryptojacking have reached a gargantuan 13 million in 2018, which is up 400% on last year’s total of 3.5 million”.

Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company, which has been operating in the market for over 20 years. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies, and they help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them.

The sad aspect of cryptojacking is that you may be totally unaware that you have been targeted. The malware, once installed, will highjack the power of your CPU to perform complicated mining routines in order for the crime gang to receive “mined” coins. You may never know that cryptojacking is happening, until your computer slows to a halt or the central processor freezes.

The security professionals at Kaspersky also noted that ransomware cases declined in such a way during 2018 to suggest that organized crime might have made a strategic shift to the crypto world. Why such a move? It might have been due to spiraling values, the lack of formalized regulatory oversight, and the obvious trusting and uninformed base of customers. Crooks do plan and allocate resources to get the best return, much like the very investors that they fleece.

How can you protect yourself from cryptojackers? First and foremost, run security software that has been specifically designed to block cryptocurrency miners in your browser. Secondly, the cryptojacking process will never get started, if its malware is never installed on your computer. Once again, antimalware software, a derivative of security virus protection software, should do the trick. Be wary of odd websites or emails requesting your viewing links of any sort. If the malware cannot get through your firewall, it can never redirect your CPU to do other things.