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It looks like attackers are turning away from ransomware. Instead of demanding money they are now focusing on mining cryptocurrency. And do you know who’s helping them? It’s your connected devices that will be their golden goose.
Over the years ransomware has been in limelight for being a nasty genre of attack responsible for disruption. It takes advantages of software vulnerabilities and exploits them for their own financial benefits. But all this charm is soon going to be taken away by crypto miners.
What is Cryptocurrency Mining?
Hackers are opportunists and they won’t leave any stone unturned to earn profit. This time it’s not your data but it’s the CPU cores and gigabytes of RAM in your smartphones and tablets that will be used to mine cryptocurrency. Soon all your connected devices will be turned into botnets.
Cryptocurrency mining is not as pervasive as ransomware. Here the attacker uses CPU power to mine cryptocurrency especially Monero. This process doesn’t lock out the victim but instead makes the PC slow and sluggish to mine cryptocurrency.
All this goes unnoticed by the user as he doesn’t suspect anything abrupt and the attackers keep on using his machine to mine cryptocurrency. This way the attackers uses various connected devices and perform a DDoS attack that is not recognizable.
Ransomware Vs Mining
It’s not that attackers were at loss with ransomware attacks but the reason for change is more cash. Cybercriminals can now potentially generate more cash than using a malicious code to infect the machine and demand money.
Mining seems to be lucrative therefore they are in favor of shelving ransomware attacks. By secretly hijacking a system if the attackers can harness the amount that they couldn’t get with a ransomware attack then why not. This will also lessen the risk of being targeted and caught by legal authorities.
If a single day of mining can make them earn $500 or so then you can image what they can get in a month followed by a year and so on. That’s a lot as opposed to the time-consuming ransomware attack, where they need to create a malicious code, spread the infection, encrypt all the data and then demand money to decrypt the data.
So, when they have a much safer and easier method to earn without even getting notices then why not to go with it.
Plus, ransomware attack is loud and attracts law enforcement as opposed to mining malware.
Also Read: Data Breaches That Shook The World
This clearly shows that mining attack are more dangerous than ransomware. Instead of attacking you straight, cybercriminals are attacking as leech to suck all the CPU power and mine cryptocurrency. This may sound like there is no harm as you have access to your data and can still use the system. But this will not work for long run because CPU’s won’t be able to handle this much load and may crash that may be more worst-case scenario. Therefore, one shouldn’t take this attack lightly if you find a sudden change in your systems speed or any of your connected device starts acting weirdly then it is an alarming bell. So, beware!