Cryptocurrency mining surge continues in second quarter of 2018: Mcafee report shows
Mcafee Labs Threats Report for in Q2 2018 reported a surge in cryptomining malware growth that began in Q4 2017 continue through the first half of 2018. Mcafee also saw the continued adaptation of the type of malware vulnerability exploits used in the Wannacry and NotPetya outbreaks of 2017.
Although less common than ransomware, cryptomining malware has quickly emerged as a factor on the threat landscape. After growing around 400,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017, new cryptomining malware samples grew a stunning 629% to more than 2.9 million samples in Q1 2018. This trend continued in Q2 as total samples grew by 86% with more than 2.5 million new samples. Mcafee Labs has even identified what appear to be older malware such as ransomware newly retooled with mining capabilities.
In some cases, cryptomining targets specific groups rather than a broad field of potential victims. One cryptomining malware strain has targeted gamers on a Russian forum by posing as a “mod” claiming to enhance popular games. Gamers were tricked into downloading the malicious software, which proceeded to use their computer resources for profit.
While cryptomining malware primarily targets PCS, other devices have become victims. For instance, Android phones in China and South Korea have been exploited by the Adb. miner malware into producing Monero cryptocurrency for its cryptomining perpetrators.
VULNERABILITY EXPLOIT MALWARE
A year after the outbreaks of the Wannacry and Notpetya attacks, new malware samples specifically designed to exploit software vulnerabilities increased by 151% in Q2. Mcafee saw the exploits from these two high-profile threats repurposed within new malware strains, and newly discovered vulnerability exploits similarly adapted to produce entirely new threats.