In a report released on April 10 by the UK National Cyber Security Centre NCSC, cryptojacking was highlighted as a major issue pertaining to the business environment in Great Britain.
Cointelegraph.com states that a whole section of the report was dedicated to cryptojacking. It is defined as a form of cyber attack which allows a hacker to gain access to victim’s system to mine cryptocurrencies. The most common hint of noticing a device being cryptojacked is a small slowdown in system’s performance.
According to NCSC, the extreme popularity gained by cryptocurrencies is the main reason for hackers to use unauthorized CPU power to mine new digital currency. It will become a steady source of income for hackers as well as website owners.
The report stated, “The technique of delivering cryptocurrency miners through malware has been used for several years, but it is likely in 2018-19 that one of the main threats will be a newer technique of mining cryptocurrency which exploits visitors to a website.”
The report also mentioned that cryptojacking has increased since 2017. After bitcoin’s meteoric rise in December 2017, 55 percent of worldwide businesses were affected by bitcoin miners. It was also reported that more than 4000 websites, 600 of which were from the UK, were involved in the secret mining of cryptocurrencies in February 2018. They particularly victimized blind and partially blind sighted people through screen-reading plugins.
The NCSC confirmed that most of the incidents of cryptojacking are performed by cybercriminals. On the other hand, website users have focused on their users by utilizing their systems’ CPU power to mine unauthorized digital currencies.
With the upsurge in crypto popularity malware has become the most effective technique to mine cryptocurrencies by exploiting common and vulnerable internet users. In March, over 400,000 malware attempts were blocked by Microsoft’s Windows Defender Antivirus in a span of 12 hours. After the inclusion of anti-crypto mining in the integrated ad blocker for desktop, Opera would add the same in their mobile web browser.
In a report published in livemint.com, McAfee’s Christopher Young claimed that cryptojacking is the biggest threat right now.
He said that cryptojacking is unique as a cybercriminal cannot be accused of stealing anything. It is the biggest reason for the rise of cryptojacking as the consequences are quite low. A criminal is not breaching or stealing data for monetizing them in the open market.
He also believes that cryptojacking is not delivering huge gains to criminals, but it will surely expand. Cryptojacking can also develop due to further application of IoT as connected devices will provide more power for crypto mining.
In his statement, he also told that unlike other cyber threats cryptojacking does not need additional technical development. These criminals do not need the help of dark web to sustain their businesses. As of now, cyber threats have become more prominent in the UK and US. It will be smart to stay away from phishing websites and dubious advertisements. Remember, your system is not meant for the laborious job of crypto mining.