CybSafe research: cryptojacking is increasingly popular
Security

CybSafe research: cryptojacking is increasingly popular

By Matteo Gatti - 17 Sep 2019

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The company CybSafe has published new research that reveals how widespread cryptojacking is.

Cyber attacks are not only solved by technology: human activities and awareness when using a PC are fundamental. This is the motto of CybSafe, a well-known London-based company that deals with information security awareness and data analysis. CybSafe studies people’s behaviours to provide adequate advice to manage cyberattacks and reduce risks.

What is cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking (also called cryptomining) is a form of cyberattack that exploits the computer of unsuspecting users for the purpose of mining cryptocurrencies. It’s an expanding threat that can infiltrate web browsers and compromise everything from desktop PCs and laptops to smartphones and even network servers.

Due to high CPU usage, computers infected with this type of malware tend to run slowly and overheat.

Cryptojacking exploits other people’s devices without their knowledge or consent for the extraction of cryptocurrencies at their expense. Rather than building a computer for cryptomining, hackers use cryptojacking to steal processing resources from victims’ devices. By combining all these resources, hackers are able to make a profit without any expense.

One of the most popular ways to infect a PC is to send phishing emails with malicious links or attachments that install the malware. Another method is to infect websites with malicious scripts: when users connect to such websites, they start to mine without realising it.

The CybSafe research

cybsafe cryptojacking

The research published by CybSafe on cryptojacking has revealed a rather worrying scenario:

  • Only 54% of UK activities have training programmes in place to explain to employees what cryptojacking is and how it works;
  • 24% of the activities admitted that they had not implemented any security measures on their machines, such as an anti-virus;
  • 43% said they had no strategy for managing an attack.

Of the 250 SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) companies, 25% confirmed that one or more computers in their pool of machines have been affected by cryptojacking in the past 12 months.

CybSafe CEO Oz Alashe explained:

“Cryptojacking is still a relatively new threat in the cyber security picture, and it’s caught UK businesses largely unawares. Although there are signs now that the cryptojacking threat has somewhat declined over the last few months, businesses shouldn’t be fooled. Coinhive may have been shut down, but organisations shouldn’t assume that the threat has therefore vanished”.

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