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Research: Cryptojacking Incidents on a Steady Decline

Research: Cryptojacking Incidents on a Steady Decline

Reading Time: 2 minutes by on July 19, 2018 Bitcoin, Crime, Mining, News
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While crypto enthusiasts pray for the bulls to reign at all times, sometimes a bearish trend comes with cool advantages. Per recent research findings, cryptojacking has become less lucrative for ‘cryptojackers’ due to the current market slump, leading to a sharp decline in occurrences of the illegal act.

Meager Rewards

According to a research report by Malwarebytes, a cybersecurity firm founded by Marcin Kleczynski, there has been a significant reduction in coinmining attacks in recent months as the dirty business has become far less lucrative for hackers. A study by Malwarebytes revealed that in March 2018, there was a total of 5 million instances of illegal crypto mining software detected on people’s desktop computers, but the figure significantly dropped to just 1.5 million in June.

Similarly, earlier in January, Malwarebytes fished out 100,000 coinminers on business desktop PCs, and by June 2018, the figure had crashed to approximately 30,000.  Per the report, cyberpunks are abandoning the venture because the return on investment is no longer mouth-watering.

Additionally, the fact that hackers need to infect a vast array of computers and wait for several months before making significant profits is a deterrent. “Simply compromising a few hundred sites with a web miner alone is not going to yield very much, since those hacked sites typically have low traffic,” said Malwarebytes security researcher, Jerome Segura.

Bitcoin’s Role in the Decline of Cryptojacking

It’s quite difficult for cryptojackers to mine for bitcoin using this means because the flagship crypto does not afford an excellent level of anonymity, and bitcoin mining requires substantial system capacity. The price of bitcoin, however, has a vital role to play in the profitability of the venture. While 2017 was a year of the bulls, falling prices in 2018 has given the pessimists an upper hand in the crypto market, making cryptocurrency mining and even cryptojacking seemingly unprofitable.

In sharp contrast, back in June, cybersecurity giant, McAfee, released a report suggesting cryptojacking surged by 629 percent this year as compared to 2017. The firm disclosed that on average, five new coinminers were found every second in Q1 of 2018. “With the rise in the value of cryptocurrencies, the market forces are driving criminals to crypto-jacking and the theft of cryptocurrency. Cybercrime is a business, and market forces will continue to shape where adversaries focus their efforts,” said Steve Grobman, CTO at McAfee. For now, it appears bad actors are looking elsewhere.

For the crypto greenhorns, cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of people’s personal computers remotely by hackers to mine for cryptos like Monero and other altcoins by secretly installing special software on their PCs, smartphones, IoT (internet of things) connected devices, or by simply embedding JavaScript codes in the web browsers of their victims.

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