The price of cryptocurrencies may be surprisingly low these days, but cybercriminals don’t seem to be giving up on the new technology. In fact, the number of malicious miners increased in the third quarter of the year.
This is according to a new report by cybersecurity experts Kaspersky. In its latest report, the company says in the third quarter of 2022, there was a 230% increase in crypto mining tool variants, compared to the same period last year. Compared to the third quarter of 2021, the number has tripled.
However, in the third quarter of 2022 alone, there were more than 150,000 different cryptocurrency miners identified as being used by criminals. According to the researchers, they can earn up to 2 BTC per month, which at current prices is around $32,000. Most of the time, cyber crooks opt for monero, a privacy-oriented cryptocurrency that is almost impossible to track.
Distribution by pirates
To distribute miners, hackers use platforms to distribute pirated content, such as movies, music, computer games, and commercial software. By masquerading as cracks, activators, and even software themselves, scammers are able to distribute miners to a broad spectrum of victims.
Mining is a high-maintenance, low-margin operation. To engage in mining, one must have the latest computers, plenty of electrical power, and some bandwidth. With the cost of electricity rising, and the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies dropping dramatically, many legitimate miners are shutting down their rigs and waiting for more profitable days.
However, by hijacking other people’s devices and electricity, criminals avoid the initial installation cost and make a net profit, while leaving victims with poor performance. endpoints (Opens in a new tab) High electricity bills. Mining software is generally easy to compile, and can also be obtained on the dark web, at a relatively cheap price.