Crypto-mining malware increases 4000% in 2018

20 Dec, 2018
by David Robb
Security
Crypto-mining malware increases 4000% in 2018

The final McAfee Labs Threat Report of 2018 has been released. According to its data, the number of instances of crypto mining malware has increased by 400 times this year, up to almost 4 million.

McAfee Labs comes out with a new survey of online cyber-security issues and hacking trends once every quarter. It has noticed a steady increase in crypto-mining malware throughout the year, after it initially rose from under 500,000 cases in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 2.5 million in the first quarter of 2018.

Referring to the current period as "Cryptomining Boom Times", the report identifies the mining of cryptocurrencies through 'crypto-jacking' applicatiions as "one of the biggest stories of 2018". The total number of cases identified in the final quarter of this year is just under 4 million. 

A number of different methods are used to hack user's processing power in order to mine crypto for money. The report gives examples of "a Mac OS threat later named OSX.Dummy, which was distributed on cryptomining chat groups", as well as a modified add-on originating in "unofficial repositories of the open-source media player Kodi". Another way that malware can operate is through routers and other connected devices. More than 3,700 such cases were found.

Read more: Bitmain is sued for cryptojacking customers using their own ASIC devicesOver 2.5 million new cases of 'cryptojacking' software in 2018

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