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Crypto-mining malware saw 4,000% increase in 2018

Hopefully 2019 will be different

One of the most common hacks to punctuate the 2018 cryptocurrency media was illicit crypto-mining, also known as crypto-jacking, a recent report shows just how widespread it is becoming.

According to the latest report from cyber security firm McAfee Labs, 2018 saw a 4000-percent increase in instances of crypto-mining malware. The report states there were over 4 million new threats in Q3 of this year alone, compared to the 500,000 of the same period last year.

Crypto-jacking relies on infecting victims’ devices without their knowledge, and using the computing power to mine cryptocurrency. The victim ends up fronting the electricity bill and gets none of the reward.

Indeed, 2018 has seen some of the most outlandish cryptojacking scams ever.

Hackers got clever and started finding ways of hiding mining malware alongside legitimate software updates from the likes of Adobe and Microsoft. We also saw hundreds of thousands of MikroTik WiFi routers get infected with mining malware across Southern America and India.

Hopefully, 2019 will be the year we quash those pesky and sneaky crypto-mining malware scammers.

Published December 20, 2018 — 12:06 UTC