Cryptojacking Attacks Growing Rapidly, Trend Micro Reports
Sean Michael Kerner | August 28, 2018
Trend Micro's 2018 midyear security report finds that ransomware attack volume is growing slowly, while cryptojacking continues to escalate. Trend Micro released its 2018 midyear security roundup on Aug. 28, revealing slowing growth of ransomware attacks, while cryptojacking attacks are surging.
Among the highlights of the 40-page report is that in the first half of 2018, there was a 956 percent increase in cryptojacking attacks over the first half of 2017. Cryptojacking refers to unauthorized cryptocurrency mining, which can end up consuming a victim's system resources. "For now it does appear that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future, but with crypto-currency values changing quite wildly, we could see a decrease in this threat," Jon Clay, director or global threat communications for Trend Micro, told eWEEK. "We do think we'll see an increase in targeting of owners of crypto-currencies or the exchanges themselves, as the opportunity to steal more coins is higher there than the prospect of mining coins." Multiple organizations have warned about the rise in cryptojacking in 2018. A report from security firm Palo Alto Networks released on June 11 estimates that attackers have generated at least $143 million in illicit earnings from cryptojacking. While cryptojacking attacks have grown in the first half of 2018, ransomware attacks have stalled somewhat. Trend Micro reported that ransomware detections in the first half of 2018 were up by only 3 percent from the second half of 2017. It's currently unclear if ransomware will grow faster in the second half of 2018.