McAfee Labs Reports Increase in Bitcoin Ransomware and CryptoJacking

According to a recent report by McAfee Labs, ‘Cryptojacking campaigns targeting victims’ computers
to mine cryptocurrencies increased by 29% in Q1 2019. They also detected newer entities that were getting in on the scene.

The hackers have repeatedly attacked Apple and Microsoft Windows computers to mine crypto. Monero [XMR] is very popular among them because of its privacy. They also used it to mine other cryptocurrencies like Koto, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency in Japan.

These bots are also known for stealing data from crypto exchanges like Coinbase, Bitstamp, and others to gain access to those sites. These were then targetted to mine cryptocurrencies.

On a more alarming note, the report also concluded that there is a 118% increase in ransomware attacks. The report compiled comprehensive data with details of the entities engaging in these activities. While a few of them have been caught by law enforcements, others are still operational. These entities accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Dash, and Monero.

As reported earlier on CoinGape, Govs. in China and North Korea could be ‘hands in gloves’ with these hackers. Hence, the ‘threat report’ by McAfee is an issue for serious concern for cybersecurity all over the world.

Federal Jury Indicts Former AWS Employee

A federal grand jury has indicted a former AWS (Amazon Web Services) employee in Seattle on two accounts of cybercrimes. Paige Thompson, a.k.a. Erratic, aged 33 will be finally sentenced by the U.S. District Court in Seattle on Sept. 5, 2019. She is being kept in custody.

Thompson managed to hack customer data of about 100 million users from the Capital One Financial Corp Data. This was revealed earlier this year on Github after which the case against her was built. She was brought into custody in July.

She has been indicted for wire fraud and abuse “for the intrusion into data of Capital One and more than 30 other entities.” The charges in her indictment carry penalties of the sentence up to 25 years.

She used the access not only to steal data but also to use the user’s computer power to mine cryptocurrencies. This practice is known as ‘cryptojacking.’ Cryptojacking has become reasonably popular with hackers because of the intractability of some of the crypto protocols.

What steps must the crypto-community take in order to fend these attacks? Please share your views with us. 

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