Cryptomalware attacks become more prevalent with the increased popularity of Cryptocurrency

Cryptomalware attacks become more prevalent with the increased popularity of Cryptocurrency

Cyptocurrency has been a hot topic over the last year, you may have heard plenty of people investing in this currency (such as BitCoin) hoping to strike it rich as its value has been highly volatile.  As revolutionary of an idea as it is for the market, there also those who wish to profit through this new-found trend by using unscrupulous means as well.  This is apparent with the introduction of a new type of malware which specifically targets such users whom use cryptocurrency, cryptomalware.

Just like how there is variety with ordinary malware, cryptomalware comes in different forms as well, ranging from client-side web scripts to mobile applications.  As of now, the usual modus operandi of cryptomalware are to target your computer to use its computing power to mine currency or to directly steal currency by intercepting your purchases by rerouting your payments to the criminal’s wallets instead.  Even IoT devices are now being targeted by these hackers in a way to expand their operations, knowing that the computing power of these devices are not as powerful as servers or laptops.

Cryptocurrency mining unlike many other malicious malware actively uses your computer for its computational resources to mine cryptocurrency.  This process puts a great strain on infected device and could cause its lifespan to significantly decrease.  A recent study from Trend Micro found that the most detected home event was cryptocurrency mining, showing that this is becoming more prevalent now even in the average consumers home.  To help mitigate the threat, below are a few tips on what you can do to lessen your chances on getting infected:

  • Regularly update devices with their latest firmware to prevent attackers from taking advantage of vulnerabilities to get into systems.
  • Change devices’ default credentials to avoid unauthorized access.
  • Employ intrusion detection and prevention systems to deter malicious attempts.
  • Be wary of known attack vectors, such as socially engineered links, attachments, and files from suspicious websites, dubious third-party applications, and unsolicited emails.

For increased security against these threats, you may also want to consider getting a proactive security such as Trend Micro™ XGen™ security.  With high-fidelity machine learning that can secure the gateway and endpoint, and protect physical, virtual, and cloud workloads, it will give you that second layer of defense to help secure your endpoint from threats like cryptomalware.

To learn more about cryptomalware  you may check this link or you may contact us directly at 893-9515 and we will do our best to answer your inquiries.

Cryptocurrency Malware CoinHive becomes the 6th most common Malware

Cryptocurrency Malware CoinHive becomes the 6th most common Malware

CoinHive, the cryptocurrency miner that made the news in September when it was discovered that the EITest campaign was using it to trick victims into paying for their services or handing out financial data via tech support scams.  However, a new report from coindesk.com reveals that the malware is becoming more widespread as it reaches 6th place on the list of most common malware in the world.

CoinHive works by providing website owners and operators a Javascript code that they can embed into their site. What this code does is that it covertly uses the website visitor’s processing power to mine the Monero cryptocurrency. This give both sides mutual benefits, as CoinHive keeps a portion of the mined amount, while the website owner keeps the rest. Unfortunately for website visitors, they won’t know that their processor is being used without their knowledge. While Coinhive itself is a legitimate company, its rather dubious method of operation often lends itself to abuse by malicious threat actors.

While Cryptomining malware is still not as well known as other malware like ransomware, the report from Coindesk is alarming as it shows that this threat is growing fast.   Stealthy and non-intrusive are attributes of cryptocurrency mining that might be helping in its rapid growth.  Decreased performance and latency caused by the cryptocurrency malware are annoying but can be hard to pinpoint to them as the cause.  Also, with multiple infected systems, the miner essentially gains more and more personal miners for himself without the computer owners knowledge.

Defending against CoinHive

Users who want to prevent CoinHive from using their resources may do the following:

  • Block Javascript-based applications from running on their browsers
  • Implementation of best practices to avoid engineered schemes such as the EITest campaign
  • Regularly update and patch your software (especially on your browsers)

Users should also look into effective security solutions such as Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Suites and Worry-Free™ Business Security, which protect end users and businesses from threats by detecting and blocking malicious files and all related URLs. Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Suites deliver several capabilities like high fidelity machine learning, web reputation services, behavior monitoring and application control that minimize the impact of this cryptocurrency miners and other threats.

Learn more about Trend from our Product page or contact us at 893-9515!