Sunday 7 August 2022
Home / adoption / ‘Cryptojacking’ rises 30% to record highs despite crypto slump: Report

‘Cryptojacking’ rises 30% to record highs despite crypto slump: Report

New research shows that despite falling digital asset prices, cryptojacking has reached record levels in the first half of 2022.

According to a mid-year update on cyber threats by American cybersecurity company SonicWall, global cryptojacking volumes rose by $66.7 million, or 30%, in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period last year.

Cryptojacking is a cybercrime whereby malicious actors commandeer a victim’s computer resources by infecting the machine with malware designed to mine cryptocurrencies. It is often executed through vulnerabilities in web browsers and extensions.

Source: SonicWall

The report stated that the overall rise in cryptojacking can be attributed to a couple of factors.

Firstly, cybercriminals are leveraging the Log4j vulnerability to deploy attacks in the cloud. In December 2021, a critical vulnerability affecting java-based logging utility was discovered in the Open Source Library managed by software company Apache. Hackers can exploit it to gain remote access to a system.

Secondly, cryptojacking is a lower-risk attack than ransomware, which needs to be made public to succeed. Cryptojacking victims are often unaware that their computers or networks have been compromised.

Finance sector beware

Attackers also appeared to have changed their preferred targets during the period, moving from the government, healthcare and education sectors to the retail and financial sectors.

Cryptojacking attacks targeting the finance sector skyrocketed 269% in the period, more than five times greater than the second highest industry, retail, which saw attacks increase by 63%.

“The number of attacks on the finance industry is five times greater than the second highest industry — retail, which used to be at the very bottom of the list,” the researchers noted.

Related:Monero’s crypto of choice as ransomware ‘double extortion’ attacks increase 500%

The researchers, however, noted that the volume cryptojacking attacks began to fall alongside the crypto markets in the first half of the year, as attacks were becoming less lucrative.

They observed a pattern of significantly higher volumes in the first quarter, followed by “cryptojacking summer slump” in Q2. The firm said that based on past trends, Q3 volumes will likely also be low, with attacks likely to pick up again in Q4.

This year’s summer decline has also been attributed to a fall in crypto asset prices, as markets have shrunk by 57% since the beginning of the year.

About Sean Patterson

Check Also

Latest Report Shows Cryptojacking Increased By 30% During The Crypto Slump

The crypto industry is fraught with different malicious actors preying on unsuspecting users, especially the cryptojacking attackers. Many hacks and exploits occur in the industry, targeting crypto firms and individual investors. According to data, crypto scams and exploits in 2022 amounted to $10.3 million from January to June. This shows that the industry is not safe to operate without caution. Apart from exploiting exchanges and networks, cybercriminals also target individuals through cryptojacking. This targeted attack on someone’s computer resources to mine crypto without permission. In cryptojacking, the lousy actor will infect the computer with mining malware through the target’s loopholes in extensions and browsers. This tactic might seem unpopular, but recent reports have shown that it increased by 30% in 2022, even with the failing crypto market. Cryptocurrency market trends upwards on the day chart | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap on TradingView.com This report emerged from SonicWall mid-year cyber threat update. According to the cyber-security company’s report, the volume of these exploits increased by $66.7 million compared to its figure in the first half of 2021. Factors Increasing Crypto Scams According to the company report, one of the factors that contributed to the increase in cryptojacking was the Log4j vulnerability. This flaw was discovered in December 2021, affecting a Java-based logging utility in Apache’s open source library. With this vulnerability, hackers can quickly access a system remotely and attack their targets. Another factor leading to this increase is that cryptojacking is easier to perpetrate. This method of attack is not risky compared to ransomware in that the victim must be involved so he can pay the ransom. In cryptojacking, the target will never know that the network or computer is under attack. Cryptojacking And The Financial Sector From this data, it’s evident that everyone operating in the financial sector is at risk. People are more aware of ransomware attacks and have devised means to prevent them or decrypt their files. Also, cryptojacking wasn’t that common in the financial sector. But now, criminals have changed their targets from other sectors. A recent report shows that finance and retail are at risk of this trend. The finance sector recorded a 269% increase, while retail saw a 63% increase in cryptojacking. This figure shows that attackers are targeting the finance sector more than retail. Cyber-security researchers claim cyptojacking was intense in quarter one of 2022 when crypto prices were standard. The activities only began to drop after the crypto market crashed. As the sector lost massively, the targeted profits plummeted, causing the hackers to reduce their operations. But judging by past trends, the researchers revealed that the volume of cryptojacking in Q3 will reduce but increase by quarter four. Featured image from Pixabay, chart from TradingView.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *