Kaspersky Lab reports 2.7M internet users affected by malicious mining software
Kaspersky Lab has found that 2.7 million internet users were affected by malicious virtual currency mining software from 2017 to 2018, up from 1.9 million last year. Criminals hijack the computing power of the victim's PC or mobile devices to boost their virtual currency mining capability, according to a press release.
The report also found that ransomware on PCs and mobile devices dropped by almost 30 and 22.5 percent, respectively. Instead, hackers are increasingly turning to malicious cryptocurrency mining, which provides a more sustainable model, albeit one that yields less up front profit.
"The reasons behind these changes in the cyberthreat landscape are clear," Kaspersky Lab security expert Anton Ivanov said in the release. "For cybercriminals, ransomware is a noisy and risky way of making money; it attracts media and state attention. The mining model, however, is easier to activate and more stable — attack your victims, discreetly build cryptocurrency using their CPU or GPU power, and then transfer that into real money through legal exchanges and transactions."
The report recommends that users follow basic security protocols such as updating software regularly, not opening email attachments from unknown addresses and regularly backing up data.