In as much as the trend of cryptocurrency continues to heighten, industry players are now becoming aware of its potential cyber threat.
Experts worry that rise in cryptocurrency mining which could possibly give room for fraud money laundering and tensions in the crypto market.
Few months back, a Slovenian-based bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash got attacked with sophisticated social engineering” that resulted in approximately 4,700 bitcoin being stolen, worth about $63.92m at current prices.
These attacks have been on the surge and industry players are beginning to fret that their money seem not to be in the right direction.
This, according to experts will trigger system intruders that will hijack confidential data from computers and systems in a bid to mine virtual coin.
For instance, Krypton and Shift, two blockchains based on ethereum, suffered 51% attacks in August 2016.
Miners are those code crunchers who control systems designed to process the blockchain transactions that slowly build up the credits with which to obtain cryptocurrency units such as Bitcoins.
Reports show that they are shifting their operations off computer CPUs (central processing units) to GPUs (graphics processing units) which is more powerful.
The emergence of cryptocurrency has been a digital innovation posing threats to the financial sector. The sector has been on the front burner of innovation despite the pressure.
Fintan Galvin, chief executive officer at Invotra said:
“We commissioned a research to understand digital challenges facing the financial and public sectors.
Both sectors are under pressure to modernize systems, make them accessible, and to keep pace with emerging technologies; all the while tackling sophisticated security threats.
These are real hurdles for IT professionals today so it’s no wonder they have concerns for the year ahead.”
Why are Crypto-miners Threats?
The goal for injecting this code through the web is to connect hijacked systems to a centralized mining. And this process allows immediate crypto-mining when a user visits the site, the script runs in the browser.
Before now, Kaspersky Lab predicted that miners could be among 2018’s most common cyber-threats.
In 2017, the firm’s security solutions stopped the launch of web miners on more than 70 million occasions, “and the use of such scripts is only set to rise,” the Russian security company.
Meanwhile, Check Point “2017 Global Cyber Attack Trends Report,” reveals that “one of the most significant trends of the last few months which took the world by storm is the incredibly rapid rise of crypto-currency miners, especially the Web-based type.”
“Over the past three months, crypto-mining malware has steadily become an increasing threat to organizations, as criminals have found it to be a lucrative revenue stream,” says Maya Horowitz, manager of Check Point’s Threat Intelligence Group.
“It is particularly challenging to protect against, as it is often hidden in websites, enabling hackers to use unsuspecting victims to tap into the huge CPU resource that many enterprises have available. As such, it is critical that organizations have the solutions in place that protect against these stealthy cyber-attacks.”
“There are both quasi-legitimate and legitimate uses of this technology to monetize customers,” says Joshua Motta founder and CEO of Coalition, billed as the first technology-enabled cyber-insurance solution.
“It is obviously problematic if you don’t disclose you are doing it and do it without their consent. You are stealing their CPU resources for your own gain.
There are Websites and publishers who are confirming it and getting consent to do so. I imagine there are people willing to do that, so it’s a fair trade.”