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Kaspersky, a large cybersecurity company and the creator of the famous Kaspersky Antivirus program
has disclosed information about crypto mining attacks and ransomware cases in 2019. According to the company, the number of attacks in 2019 rose by nearly 14%, but the “attack share” of crypto-mining attacks has fallen drastically.
Mining attacks incorporate things such as web-mining without the user’s consent. Gaining remote access to a person’s device through explicit malware and essentially “stealing cryptocurrency”, and blatant brute force access to a user’s CPU for mining power.
Due to the shifts in the crypto market and the decreasing value of easily mineable cryptocurrencies such as Monero, many cybercriminals have stopped operating on mining attacks completely due to a lack of income. Most of them are now focusing on things such as ransomware for large corporations and government agencies rather than individuals. Denis PARINOV, a security analyst for Kaspersky, says:
"Crypto-miners and crypto-ransomware operators are still in the game, but their focus appears to have moved to targeted attacks."
Explicitly targeted victims
In the past, ransomware was distributed via a neutral link, website or any kind of domain. This would distribute the malware to various individual personal devices and request a crypto payment for either protection from other ransomware attacks, or a guarantee of safety from the attacker themselves. Nowadays though, cybercriminals are directly targeting companies or large corporations due to the sheer amount of funds they can ask for withdrawal.
This has been the case with New Orleans and Johannesburg not too long ago. Whole cities or districts have been at the risk of shutting down due to cyber criminals accessing the database and asking for crypto payments. The same situation recently has been disclosed in Argentina — Around 7,700 GB of data, accumulated over a 10 year-period, was reportedly compromised due to the security breach.
But even crypto compensations are starting to fall out of trend as criminals are now asking for direct debit card charges from their victims. Also, according to the report, Kaspersky solutions blocked attempts to launch one or more malicious programs designed to steal money from bank accounts on the computers of more than 766 000 users.
A lot of these targeted cyber attacks on blockchain systems and crypto wallets are coming from North Korea. The country has explicitly hired or trained hackers to access South Korean domains and databases in the hopes of gaining information or access to a corporation’s or state agency’s files or funds.
Most of these attacks come in the form of phishing but there are mentions of brute force attempts in the past as well. Despite the fact that the attacks are usually diversified across the whole world, when it comes to simple concentration, then North Korea is definitely in the lead.
Image courtesy of Mashable
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