Ransomware Drops as Cryptojacking Rises

Jul 25, 2018 | IT Services

We’ve discussed before how ransomware is on the rise in healthcare, however, there are new attacks on the rise that are beginning to dwarf the number of ransomware attacks that affect all industries.

cryptominingWe’ve discussed before how ransomware is on the rise in healthcare; however, there are new attacks on the rise that are beginning to dwarf the number of ransomware attacks that affect all industries.
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The Decline of Ransomware

Despite the increase of attacks in the healthcare industry, ransomware attacks, in general, are decreasing. The main reason for these decreases is due to the disappearance of many exploit kits (EKs) which is the go-to toolkit to attack vulnerable systems. These kits have exploits that can target common software such as Adobe Flash, Java, and Microsoft Silverlight. The remaining kits on the cybercriminal market still pose a threat, but with a different prime directive – crypto mining malware.

What is Cryptomining?

We’ve discussed the basics of cryptocurrency before about how to obtain it by directly purchasing it through various sources. However, there is another way to gain cryptocurrencies that involves “computational intensive calculations to verify transactions, and miners are rewarded with cryptocurrency” for their work.

The Rise of Cryptomining Malware

One of the key reasons a lot of hackers are turning to crypto mining malware is due to the ease of payments. As stated earlier, 23% pay the ransom. However, that still leaves a large percentage of unsuccessful payments. Cryptominers know they will receive payment each time because they are mining cryptocurrency themselves by targeting web browsers and mobile devices.

How to Protect Against Cryptomining Malware

Cryptomining malware is difficult to spot, especially in larger organizations with large volumes of data. However, there are little things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Turn off JavaScript: this is an extreme measure to take as there are many legitimate reasons to have JavaScript enabled but it is a solid defense.
  • Use Trusted Antivirus Software: and keep it up-to-date because many antivirus software can block browser-based attacks.
  • Use Extensions: such as minerBlock or No Coin for Chrome, and NoScript for Firefox.

For more information on how you can further protect yourself from cyber attacks, read our checklist on what you should look for in your IT support.

 

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