As the popularity of cryptocurrency grows, the security risk also grows with it. For some time, ransomware attacks were the hacker’s and scammer’s favorite ways for getting money from their prey. Now, Microsoft has reported that a new kind of cyberattack called cryptojacking has replaced ransomware as the biggest threat.
In a blog of Microsoft Security, the company shares how the extent of the cyberattacks have changed over the years. It makes clear that the cryptojacking was no longer just a nuisance, that eats up the resources of your device.
As cryptocurrency is gaining more popularity, receiving more acceptance from the mainstream financial industry, says Simon Batt of MUO. Cyber criminals are also busy trying to position themselves as well. The Redmond tech giant claims that cryptojacking has surpassed ransomware as the choice for cyber criminals.
The threat is increasing as more hackers are deploying coin miners as a payload for malware operations. In its recent research, Avira Protection Labs said that there has been a significant increase in coin miner malware attacks. An increase of 53% during the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same periods the previous quarter.
To fight against this growing threat, Microsoft adopts the Intel Threat Detection Technology (TDT) with its Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. The technology can help find and remove these troublesome threats.
The shift from Ransomware attacks to Cryptojacking
If you are not that familiar with ransomware attacks, perhaps cryptojacking is more alien to you. Why are the cyber criminals shifting from one to the other?
Well, practically hackers use either of these attacks to extort money from the victims. Ransomware, the most well-known cyberattacks being the biggest threat, locks the access of data until victims pay the agreed amount. It was quite effective but has become more traceable.
This is a bit unfortunate for hackers, as the attack must be visible to deliver their ransom message. Thus, more and more companies are installing anti-ransomware protection to protect themselves.
And since, cryptocurrency is gaining more popularity, hackers are shifting toward cryptojacking. To do this, hackers inject a program into someone’s computer and exploit its resources to mine cryptocurrency.
The major difference between the two is that cryptojacking is not obvious, it is less traceable. While ransomware locks up your data and demands payment to gain back the access, cryptojacking silently exploits your computer’s resources.
Since hackers can hide more by cryptojacking, this new growing threat will be a bit difficult to find and remove. So long as the cryptocurrency remains trending, cryptojacking will continue to be a major threat.
A new kid in town
Cryptojacking is like the new kid in town. While ransomware was hackers’ favorite tool for quite some time, cryptojacking is replacing its place. And this could continue as cryptocurrency remains trending. As a matter of fact, the viruses and malware attacks are generally having a shift towards extorting more money. Gone were the days when viruses simply annoy you over petty things in the computer. Now they have become sophisticated and are going big by extorting more money from victims.