A recent internet security report from an independent cybersecurity firm has highlighted the growing threat of crypto-mining malware. Its findings highlight that in the first quarter of 2018 almost all common Linux downloader malware variants recorded were designed to deliver a cryptocurrency miner on Linux devices.
Malicious Cryptocurrency Mining on the Rise
According to the latest report from WatchGuard Technologies, the threat of malicious cryptocurrency miners is increasing and may emerge as a leading form of malware attack in the near future. This form of attack is expected to be in the top 10 list of cyber threats by the end of the year.
According to WatchGuard Technologies CTO Corey Nachreiner:
Though we only publish this report at the end of each quarter, our Threat Lab team looks at our malware results daily. During early Q2, our daily data shows various ‘Coinminers’ continually appearing on our top 25 list. While it’s too early to say if they will break the top 10 for Q2, we expect them to continue to grow in popularity over the next few quarters.
The report notes the detection of 98.8% of malware that uses a script which downloads and runs a Linux-based crypto miner. It also offers insight into the nature of crypto-miner attacks, called cryptojacking, giving detail on how a script forces Linux devices to download and run a Monero miner which ends up eating up the device’s processing power.
The report based its findings on threat intelligence gathered from a network of nearly 40,000 active threat management appliances deployed around the world.
Protect Yourself – Even If You Are on Linux
Cryptojacking has been repeatedly cited as a growing cause of concern in the cybersecurity space, something often attributed to the latent reward tied to this form of cyber attacks.
Widespread cases like the recent Drupalgeddon 2 – an attack on sites running the Drupal content management system – and the 8,500 percent increase in cryptojacking noted in 2017 have differentiated it as a major area of focus for people and entities managing cybersecurity risks.
All internet users have to take some form of preventive measures, including devotees of the Linux operating system which has a firmer reputation than operating systems like Windows when it comes to cybersecurity.
WatchGuard recommends that everyone consider installing an anti-mining browser extension like No Coin, just to be safe.
Have you been a victim of crypto-mining malware on Linux? What security measures have you put in place? Let us know in the comments below.
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