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Cybercriminal Malware Targets High Value Cryptocurrency

(March 15, 2018) Cybercriminals are following the money and it is leading them to cryptocurrency.

In the March 2018 McAfee Labs Threats Report, the company found “one of the biggest developments in cybercrime is an increasing emphasis on cryptocurrency hijacking, which coincided with the increased market interest in digital currencies.”

The criminal interest in cryptocurrency coincided with the spiking value of Bitcoin, which “prompted many actors to extend their activities into the hijacking of Bitcoin and Monero wallets,” the report found. “This shift reinforces the point that cybercriminals will always seek to combine the highest returns in the shortest time with the least risk.” Cybercriminals are introducing malware “that will either use a victim’s computing power to mine for coins or simply locate and steal the user’s cryptocurrency.”

Cryptocurrency wasn’t the only target in 2017. The health care sector experienced a 210 percent increase in publicly disclosed security incidents compared with 2016, McAfee said. “In analyzing the attacks, McAfee Advanced Threat Research experts concluded that many of the incidents were caused by failures to comply with security best practices or to address vulnerability in medical software.”

McAfee Labs conducts threat research, threat intelligence, and cybersecurity. The report is based on statistics gathered in the fourth quarter 2017.