Kaspersky Labs has conducted an in-depth analysis of the sources of cryptojacking malware that infected more than 5 million computers in the world in 2018.
In a recent report, the cybersecurity firm has noted that the number of cryptojacking malware skyrocketed with over 83 percent in the first three quarters of this year compared to the same period last year.
The report records that unlicensed software and content were the major tools used by criminals to cause havoc on cryptocurrency holders and institutions which were held at ransom.
“Kaspersky Lab researchers investigated the economics behind the sudden onset of crypto-mining fever to discover what drove the global distribution of this threat. They analyzed the regulatory landscape; electricity prices in countries most commonly targeted by crypto-miners; and the main infection vectors for popular malware families,” noted Business Wire.
Kaspersky Labs also noted that the cost of electricity and cryptocurrency regulations contributed an insignificant percentage in the propagation of cryptojacking malware this year.
According to the researchers:
“The easier it is to distribute unlicensed software, the more incidents of malicious crypto-miner activities were detected. In short, an activity not generally perceived as especially dangerous, the downloading and installation of dubious software, underpins what is arguably the biggest cyber-threat story of the year – malicious crypto-mining.”
To avoid being infected by cryptojacking malware, the researchers advise that computer and mobile phone users should only install software from trusted sources.
For business, Point of Sale (PoS) terminals and vending machines should not be overlooked in terms of security. Another solution is to educate the IT personnel on cryptojacking malware including the different ways of propagation and how to detect if a computer system is infected.
In 2019, Kaspersky Labs predicts that the use of the distributed ledger technology beyond virtual currencies will decline.
Do you think the spread of cryptojacking malware was largely fueled by the ignorance of people and businesses in updating the security of their computing devices?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.