Cybersecurity firm McAfee Labs recently released its Threats Report September 2018, the latest version of its quarterly report on the status of malware on the internet. The report highlighted the rise of cryptocurrency mining, cryptocurrency attacks, and vulnerabilities in blockchain technology, and said new cryptocurrency miner threats — using mining malware to hijack systems without the victims’ (owner of the computer) consent or awareness — surged by 80 percent from the first three months of 2018 to the April-June quarter. 

A related report by McAfee Labs, titled Blockchain Threat Report, gave more detail and said cybercriminals were targeting specific groups for illegal mining rather than using a “blanket approach.” The report also cited an example of a malicious miner which was injected on a Russian forum in October 2017, targeting gamers with the malware hidden as a “mod” to enhance popular games. Gamers were deceived into downloading the malicious software, which used their computer resources for mining.

The cybersecurity company also noted that cryptocurrency mining malware had increased by 630 percentin the first quarter of 2018 as compared to ransomware attacks  — malicious software that threatens to publish the victim’s data or block access to it unless a ransom is paid — which declined by 32 percent, over the preceding quarter.

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