Cryptocurrencies have gotten a rather bad reputation over the past few years. Ranging from darknet use to money laundering concerns, the headlines have not been flattering. A recent rise in cryptocurrency-oriented malware is not helping matters much in this regard either. The increase in malicious crypto mining, especially, has a lot of industry experts concerned.
Earlier this month, it became clear cryptojacking is gaining popularity. Over 280,000 routers are now infected with this form of malware. There is also the renewed focus by ransomware developers looking to explore new crypto revenue streams. Malware is a continuously evolving industry which needs to be taken very seriously. The new security report by cybersecurity specialist McAfee confirms this situation will only grow worse over time.
For now, the report confirms cryptocurrency mining is the biggest problem. The number of infected devices and attacks almost doubled in Q2 of 2018. Most of these exploits appear to target gamers and add-ons for popular video games. It is believed some of these exploits would not have come to light were it not for the NSA’s exploit being leaked in 2017.
Perhaps the biggest concern is how older exploits are not patched properly. McAfee’s Christiaan Beek confirms vulnerabilities dating back to 2014 can still be leveraged in 2018. Numerous attacks are spearheaded by these exploits, and they cause a bit of havoc. Releasing a patch is insufficient to ensure issues like these are addressed. It is still up to device owners to perform the update in question.
McAfee experts also warn about voice assistants. Microsoft’s Cortana was named specifically, as it was able to bypass the Windows 10 lock screen. Although this exploit has been addressed, it shows innovative solutions can cause major security concerns. Consumers need to be aware of such potential problems at all times.
Last, but not least, the Internet of Things can become a treasure trove for security exploits. All types of smart devices pose a significant risk in terms of allowing backdoor access to the connected network. McAfee officials will keep a close eye on this growing market as more time progresses. The era of malicious cryptocurrency mining is far from over by the look of things.
Have you been impacted by crypto mining malware? Let us know in the comments below.
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