The Cyber Threat Alliance [CTA], a group of cybersecurity practitioners from organizations that have chosen to work together in good faith, issued in a report that illegitimate cryptocurrency mining is on the rise. Case studies show cryptocurrency mining have increased by 459% in 2018 in comparison to 2014. The CTA claim that illicit mining has not reduced despite the bear market of cryptocurrencies.
The value of cryptocurrency comes from many different factors, one being the perceived value on the market, however there is an intrinsic value behind cryptos that come in the from of time and energy put into processing and solving mathematical algorithms in order to mine blocks. Criminals can exploit others systems to mine their own cryptocurrencies. They do this by stealing the processing power of users computers, internet-of-things [IoT] devices, mobile devices, and network.
The hackers have slew of tools to choose from. Using mining malware and ransomware such as EternalBlue, Adylkuzz, and Smominru, the hackers can find exploits in to victims systems in order to use their hardware to power their mining efforts. CTA quoted EternalBlue as a favored program to breach older and unpatched devices. Even novice ‘script kiddies’ can make use of these programs to put others users CPUs and GPUs past max output usually resulting in damaging the system.
However, experienced cyberjackers can mask their intrusions and minimize they strain on the victim’s rigs in order to remain under the radar. Palo Alto Networks, say these advanced hacker set up their mining software to extract only 20% of the machine’s processing power.
The most usual attacks are going after large corporations in order to utilize their massive server reserves and machines.