Attack of the Crypto Mining Malware Is on the Rise
In an important revelation, leading antivirus software maker Kaspersky has observed that cryptos have once again become the key target for cybercriminals. In its Q1 2021 report, the organization revealed that the total number of cryptocurrency mining malware registered an increase in March 2021 compared to the preceding month. It is also important to note the consistent decline in the activities of the malicious program in the year 2020.
Giving specific details about malware, the report said that there has been a 4X rise in the cryptocurrency mining malware as the number of incidents recorded in March 2021 were pegged at 16,934. In the preceding month of February, the number of incidents recorded was 3,815 in total. The total number of miners’ modification recorded in Q12021 stand at 23,894. The threat associated with mining malware is grave. These malicious programs are often installed in the users’ machines without their knowledge, and then they slowly start siphoning off cryptocurrencies, thereby causing a huge loss to owners.
According to certain Kaspersky users who the miners attacked, the number increased to 2,00,045 in March from 1,87,746 in January. In terms of the total number in Q1 2021, 4,32,171 users of Kaspersky encountered such attacks on their devices.
The sudden rise in malware incidents can be correlated to an increase in the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the year 2021. It will be too early to say that this trend will stay for the rest of the year. Still, the increased activity of cybercriminals focused on the cryptocurrency domain indicates that digital coins are again on the radar of these unscrupulous elements.
It is not an unusual development as 2021 has proved exceptionally beneficial for digital coins. The value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has reached an altogether different level which means the profit margins associated with cryptocurrencies have also become lucrative for investors. This high margin is a natural attraction for cybercriminals, and this is exactly what the report of Kaspersky has revealed.
Microsoft in July 2020 last year revealed that India was among the countries with the largest number of mining malware attacks during the year. Although the country registered a decline of 35% over 2018, the attack rate was still 4.6X more than the global and regional average.
Kaspersky recommended that users must keep their antivirus software updated all the time to guard their system against such exploitation. The company also suggested the configuration of the security solution to settings of Block Riskware so that such threats can be automatically detected by the system.