Cryptojacking seems to be the latest way of cashing out for cybercriminals because victims are often oblivious of the compromise.
According to new research, although the prices of digital assets are plummeting, in the first half of the year, such incidents have skyrocketed. American cybersecurity organization SonicWall released a mid-year cyber threat report stating that the volume of such incidents rose by $66.7 million. Also, the report indicated that compared to last year’s figure, the global cryptojacking volume rose by 30%.
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Cryptojacking is a cybercrime often carried out due to vulnerabilities in website browsers and extensions. In cryptojacking, perpetrators infect their victim’s computer with malware for mining cryptocurrency. Also, in the process, they infiltrate the victim’s computer resources.
Why Is Cryptojacking Rising
According to SonicWall’s report, the rise in crypto jacking is a result of several factors. The first factor is that cybercriminals are taking advantage of Log4j vulnerability for deploying attacks in the cloud.
In December 2021, a critical vulnerability affecting java-based logging utility was found in the Open Source Library managed by software company Apache. Hackers usually leverage this to gain remote access to a system.
Secondly, this is referred to as a lower-risk attack compared to ransomware. In the case of cryptojacks, victims are unaware of the compromise of their networks or computers. For ransomware to be successful, it needs to be made public.
The financial sector isn’t spared from cryptojack attacks, as attackers have moved from targeting the education and healthcare sectors to the financial and retail sectors during this period.
During the period, such attacks on the financial sector rose by 269%. The percentage is five times more than retail– the second highest industry– which had a 63% attacks increase.
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Trends in 2022
However, researchers pointed out that during the first half of the year, the volume of cryptojacking began to fall due to the slump in crypto prices. The slump in the prices of cryptocurrencies made such attacks less lucrative.
In the first quarter, researchers saw a higher volume pattern. However, there was a “cryptojacking summer slump” in the second quarter. Also, according to the cybersecurity organization, based on previous trends, the third quarter volumes are likely to be low as attacks will pick up in the 4th quarter.
The cryptojacking summer slump resulted from the slump in the prices of crypto assets. Since the year began, the crypto market has reduced by 57%.