Crypto Mining malware is becoming an issue for mobile users as miners are continuously creating sophisticated malware infused in individual devices. In Brazil, the estimate shows more than 170,000 devices were targeted in a crypto jacking attack last month.
From a blog post published by security firm Trustwave, a wide-scale cyberattack was launched on MicroTik routers late last month. The effort led to the installation of the Coinhive mining software in a “mass” infection of more than 170,000 devices.
According to Simon Kenin, Trustwave security researcher, he stated that all the devices used “the same sitekey,” indicating that one entity reaped the mined tokens from all of the devices.
“This attack may currently be prevalent in Brazil, but during the final stages of writing this blog, I also noticed other geo-locations being affected as well, so I believe this attack is intended to be on a global scale.”
According to reports, mining ended up costing site visitors up to 99 percent of their CPU processing power, leading to further issues for consumers as their devices generated more heat and used up large amounts of electricity.
In an effort to prevent malware, Trustwave released a detection tool to block the mining malware, and as Kenin explains in his most recent post, readers should heed his “warning call” and patch any MikroTik devices “as soon as possible,” emphasizing that the severity of the attacks could reach “hundreds of thousands” of consumers around the globe.
Kenin also reports that illicit cryptocurrency mining operations such as these are “a trend we’ve been seeing a lot of over the last three years, as attackers shift from ransomware into the world of miners.”
Such sentiments are being echoed by other cybersecurity firms such as Skybox Security which also reported in their 2018 mid-year update that among cybercriminals, crypto mining now accounted for 32 percent of all cyber attacks, with ransomware making up 8 percent.