They come to mine cryptocurrencies on your computers – cyber criminals in professional reorientation

This particularly insidious type of cyberattack has been on the rise since the beginning of the year. Analysis of this worrying development and its new victims.

2022 is already a bitter year for cybersecurity, with record volumes of malware infecting connected objects and even unsuspected amounts of cryptojacking. The latter insidious type of cyber attack involves secretly installing cryptocurrency mining software on the victim’s device. Then, from a distance, divert the computing power of the machine and effortlessly reap the rewards of exploitation.

Previously the least concerned, financial sector clients now experience far more cryptojacking than in any other industry, warns cybersecurity firm SonicWall in its six-monthly cyber threat report, released on July 26, 2022. Now, the number of these attacks particular is five times higher than the second most affected sector, the retail trade.

This represents a dramatic turnaround “SonicWall analysts note. The three sectors traditionally most affected, namely public institutions, the health sector and the education sector, have seen their number of cryptojacking decreases by 78, 87 and 96% respectively. ” A long-awaited truce which contrasts with the wave of attacks on the security sector. Retail (+ 63%) or finance (+ 269%).

An interesting alternative

This year, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization has largely melted, major DeFi (decentralized finance) players such as Celsius or Voyager Digital have gone bankrupt, Coinbase has fired nearly one in five employees. ” Changing careers is difficult and this is also true for cybercriminalsSonicWall reporters colorfully explain. When the price of cryptocurrencies drops dramatically, it is always easier to settle for what you have than to find a new job.

Source: Sonic Wall

It should be noted that ransomware gangs have also sought quieter activity, following the high-profile Colonial Pipeline or Kaseya attacks. Unlike ransomware, which announces its presence and relies on communication with victims to monetize the cyber attack as much as possible, cryptojacking uses discretion. The risk of getting caught remains lower.

Unsuspecting users see their devices getting inexplicably slower, but it’s hard to link it to criminal activity, let alone find the source. “SonicWall EMEA Vice President Terry Greer-King recently told Tech Monitor.

As an exception to the rule, at least one gang of ransomware criminals has publicly announced their intention to use cryptojacking. As long as there is still money to be made with less risk, others may obviously follow suit.

From record to record?

Despite a steep drop in the price of cryptocurrencies, cryptojacking is reaching all-time highs, with global volume rising to 66.7 million occurrences in the first half of 2022. This equates to a 30% increase over the same period of the year. last year.

Fortunately, given the historical peak observed in the first three months, the pace seems to be running out. But don’t be exultant fast, because SonicWall describes a seasonal phenomenon, with a “summer depression” before a rebound generally seen in the fourth quarter.

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