In the past few months there has been a dramatic increase in cryptocurrency prices. In fact, the crypto market value topped $2 trillion for the first time in history and bitcoin, the largest form of digital currency, hit a record high of more than $61,000, rallying over 100% in 2021 alone. As a result of growing crypto prices, individual investors and businesses have become bigger targets for cryptojacking – and no industry is immune. For example in February, Washington State’s educational institutions faced a flood of cryptojacking attacks delivered via malicious traffic in an attempt to mine cryptocurrency.
In a new RSAC 365 blog post, WatchGuard Senior Security Analyst Marc Laliberte details the security risks associated with growing cryptocurrency prices and highlights related findings from WatchGuard’s newest Internet Security Report. Here’s a brief excerpt:
“Endpoint threat intelligence from our latest Internet Security Report shows that as prices started trending upward after 2018-2019 lows, the volume of cryptominer malware detections was 25% higher in 2020 than in 2019. We expect this trend to continue as the cryptocurrency market cycles rise and fall in the coming years.
It’s also important to note that even when the market crashes again, cryptominers won’t go away completely. Cybercriminals will continue adding cryptominer modules to existing botnets to generate passive cryptocurrency income. Since most of these threats originate via phishing messages, the simplest ways to reduce your risk are to treat all links and attachments in any form of unsolicited communication with extreme skepticism. To cover all of your bases, be sure to also keep web browsers and extensions up to date with the latest security patches.”
Check out the full post here for more on the cybersecurity implications of cryptojacking. And don’t forget to subscribe to Secplicity to receive the latest information security news, analysis and best practices directly to your inbox.