Blockchain is one of the hottest and potentially among the most disruptive technologies today. So naturally, it’s a magnet for the criminal element, which is skilled at keeping up with new digital trends and finding ways to cash in.
The market for cryptocurrency has exploded in the last couple of years. A University of Cambridge benchmarking study estimated that total cryptocurrency market capitalization more than tripled between 2016 and 2017 to reach $25 billion. By June 2018, the number of Blockchain wallet users had risen to 25 million worldwide — double the recorded amount from Q1 2017 and quadruple the amount from Q1 2016.
The criminal activity associated with digital currency reflects this growth. Carbon Black estimates that just in the first half of 2018, cryptocurrency-related thefts have totaled more than $1.1 billion. According to Carbon Black, an estimated 12,000 dark web marketplaces are selling about 34,000 offerings related to cryptotheft, with a $6.7 million “illicit economy built from cryptocurrency-related malware development and sales.”
One of those illicit activities, cryptojacking — malware that steals computer resources to mine for cryptocurrency — has been on the rise in the past few months. Another growing trend is banking Trojans, an older type of malware, now being made to target cryptocurrency rather than online banking.
Banking Trojans in general are also going through resurgence, especially with old families coming back reinvented. Based on the recent rampant activity related to both banking Trojans and cryptojacking, along with concurrent decreased activity in ransomware, some security researchers see both of them replacing ransomware as a major threat.
Coin mining validates cryptocurrency transactions through computational problems, recording the transactions in a public ledger called a blockchain. Solving this complex math requires intensive computer resources. While mining for digital coins is perfectly legal, cybercriminals (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from InfoSec Resources authored by Rodika Tollefson. Read the original post at: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/infosecResources/~3/eQMBqQkqyLk/