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The Rising Threat of Cryptojacking – CryptoMode | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital crime, cybercriminals are reshaping their strategies. With a noticeable shift away from ransomware attacks, they’re increasingly harnessing stolen computational power to mine cryptocurrencies—a covert method known as cryptojacking. This adaptation in tactics testifies to the criminals’ constant endeavors to remain elusive, continuously modifying their tools and tactics for successful operations.

Cyberattack Landscape: A Decline in Ransomware

According to SonicWall, a reputable source of cyberattack intelligence and ransomware data, the frequency of cryptojacking attacks has escalated alarmingly. This surge in cryptojacking comes amidst a pronounced decrease in conventional ransomware attacks as businesses increasingly reject the demands for ransom payments.

Cryptojacking, for the unacquainted, is a form of cybercrime where malicious actors illegitimately use devices such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and even servers for mining cryptocurrencies. SonicWall’s most recent research uncovered a startling 400% surge in cryptojacking incidents. 332 Million hits were reported in the first half of 2023, a stark increase compared to the 66.7 million instances during H1 2022.

Record-breaking Incidents in 2023

The rise in cryptojacking has been notably driven by record-breaking months. In January, February, April, and May, the monthly totals surpassed 77 million incidents. This figure exceeds the combined numbers for the first half of 2022 and surpasses the annual totals recorded in 2018 or 2019.

SonicWall’s data indicates that the total number of cryptojacking incidents surpassed the 200 million mark and continued to rise past 300 million. By the end of June 2023, these figures had set new records, exceeding the combined totals for 2020, 2021, and 2022— all previously considered record-breaking years.

Global Cryptojacking Surge: A Closer Look at the Numbers

In the United States, cryptojacking incidents spiked by 340% year to date, from 48 million to 211.7 million. Germany also saw a significant jump of 139%, from nearly three million incidents to over seven million. Similarly, the United Kingdom reported a dramatic increase of 479%, with the total number of cryptojacking incidents soaring from 1.2 million last year to 6.8 million.

Conversely, India saw a sharp decline of almost three-quarters in cryptojacking attempts, falling from four million to 1.1 million during the first half of 2023. However, it remains among the top 10 countries targeted by cryptojacking attempts.

Cryptojacking: Shifting Targets

With the changing landscape of cyberattacks, criminals’ target preferences have also evolved. There’s an increasing focus on cloud services, compromised macOS applications, and Oracle WebLogic servers instead of primarily targeting hardware endpoints like smartphones.

The education sector witnessed the largest increase in incidents, with cases soaring by over 320 times. The average percentage of targeted customers per month also escalated from 0.19% to 0.55%. Moreover, the finance sector experienced a 4.7 times increase in cryptojacking incidents over the last six months compared to last year.

The shift in cybercriminal strategies from ransomware to cryptojacking signifies a critical change in cybersecurity. As the cryptojacking threat continues to grow, businesses, institutions, and individuals must reinforce their digital defenses and stay vigilant to protect their digital resources.


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