Thursday, 15 March 2018

Microsoft: Shift From Ransomware To Cryptominers

Millions of computers have come into contact with cryptominers in recent months, while the number of cases of ransomware has declined, according to Microsoft today. From September last year to January of this year, an average of 644,000 unique Windows computers were detected each month and encountered a cryptominer.

This involves malware that can be installed on the computer in various ways and allows the system to mine cryptocurrency. While there is a clear increase in the number of cryptominers, the number of computers encountered by ransomware is decreasing. A possible reason is that cryptominers are now also distributed via exploit kits, as well as via malicious e-mail attachments.

"It is unlikely that cyber criminals will completely abandon ransomware in the short term, but the increase in trojanised cryptominers shows that attackers are exploring the possibilities of illegally earning money with this newer method," said Eric Avena of Microsoft. Because cyber criminals now choose more for cryptominers, this malware will also take over the behavior of already known threats, according to Avena. As an example, he points to the NeksMiner, who places a copy of himself in shared network folders and on USB sticks to propagate further, like all kinds of other malware.

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