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McAfee: Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Grew 86% in Q2 2018

In Q2, the total number of ransomware samples increased 57 per cent over the past four quarters, the report said

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Logo of McAfee
Logo of McAfee, flickr

Continuing its rise from the the fourth quarter of last year, cryptocurrency mining malware grew 86 per cent in the second quarter of this year, according to a new report from the global cybersecurity firm McAfee Labs.

Although less common than ransomware, cryptomining malware has quickly emerged as a factor on the threat landscape, the report said on Tuesday, adding that while cryptomining malware primarily targets PCs, other devices also have become victims.

“A few years ago, we wouldn’t think of Internet routers, video-recording devices and other Internet of Things devices as platforms for cryptomining because their CPU speeds were too insufficient to support such productivity,” said Christiaan Beek, Lead Scientist and Senior Principal Engineer with McAfee Labs Advanced Threat Research team.

The research also showed the continued adaptation of the type of malware vulnerability exploits used in the WannaCry and NotPetya outbreaks of 2017.

McAfee saw the exploits from these two high-profile threats repurposed within new malware strains, and newly discovered vulnerability exploits similarly adapted to produce entirely new threats.

New malware samples specifically designed to exploit software vulnerabilities increased by 151 per cent in the second quarter of 2018, the findings of the”McAfee Labs Threats Report” showed.

McAfee
Cryptomining malware surged 86% in Q2 2018: McAfee. IANS

“WannaCry and NotPetya provided cybercriminals compelling examples of how malware could use vulnerability exploits to gain a foothold on systems and then quickly propagate across networks,” Beek said.

McAfee said its mobile research team found a new billing-fraud campaign of at least 15 apps on Google Play.

The new campaign demonstrates that cybercriminals keep finding new ways to steal money from victims using apps on official stores such as Google Play, the report said.

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The McAfee team also identified top security threats to users and implementers of Blockchain technologies.

The researchers’ analysis found that phishing, malware and implementation vulnerabilities are the primary attack vectors.

In Q2, the total number of ransomware samples increased 57 per cent over the past four quarters, the report said. (IANS)

Next Story

Google Play Store’s Malware Grew by 100% in Year 2018

The backdoor apps mostly targeted Android users in Russia, Brazil, Mexico, and Vietnam, Google said

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Previously, if users were not signed into their Google accounts, pre-installed apps on their devices, including the Play Store, were cut off from updates. Pixabay

Covering malware trends in 2018, in its annual Android security report, Google has revealed that malware installed from Google Play grew by a 100 per cent last year.

Click-fraud apps, also called “adware” accounted for 55 per cent of all Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs) installed through the Play Store, followed by trojans at 16 per cent, Google said in its report on Monday.

Click-fraud apps mostly targeted users in the USA, Brazil and Mexico.

Previously, Google treated click-fraud apps as a mere Play Store policy violation. The company contends that if it removed click-fraud stats, it would show PHAs installed from the official store declined by 31 per cent year over year, ZdNet reported.

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The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

In addition, 28 per cent of malware outside the Play Store were backdoors, while 25 per cent were trojans, 22 per cent were hostile downloads and just 13 per cent were accounted for click-fraud apps.

About PHA installs from outside the Play Store, Google claims Android’s Google Play Protect anti-malware system prevented 1.6 billion PHA installation attempts last year and stopped 73 per cent of PHA installs from outside the store, marking a 20 per cent improvement.

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Google attributes the dominance of trojans outside the store to the “Chamois” family of malware, which are often pre-installed on popular Android devices from certain original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

The backdoor apps mostly targeted Android users in Russia, Brazil, Mexico, and Vietnam, Google said. (IANS)