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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)

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Study Warns Dark Web Listings of Malware on the Rise

The research was presented at the InfoSecurity Europe conference in Olympia, London

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There has been a 20 per cent rise in the dark net listings of malware targeting enterprises, warns a study.

The dark net is that part of the Internet which is inaccessible when using standard browsers like Google.

The study by cybersecurity company Bromium and researchers at the University of Surrey in Britain found that four in 10 dark net vendors are selling targeted hacking services aimed at FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 businesses.

Furthermore, access to corporate networks is sold openly, with 60 per cent of vendors approached by researchers offering access to more than ten business networks each.

Of the dark net vendors who were engaged, 70 per cent invited researchers to talk on encrypted messaging applications, like Telegram, to take conversations beyond the reach of law enforcement.

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It said the malware is hard to detect, due to encryption and other tactics. Pixabay

More than 40 per cent of attempts by researchers to request dark net hacking services targeting companies in the Fortune 500 or FTSE 100 received positive responses from dark net vendors, the study said.

“Almost every vendor offered us tailored versions of malware as a way of targeting specific companies or industries. The more targeted the attack, the higher the cost, with prices rising even further when it involved high-value targets like banks,” said Mike McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Surrey.

“The most expensive piece of malware found was designed to target ATMs and retailed for approximately $1,500,” McGuire said.

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These services typically come with service plans for conducting the hack, with prices ranging from $150 to $10,000 depending on the company involved and the extent to which the malware was customised for targeted attacks, said the study.

The research was presented at the InfoSecurity Europe conference in Olympia, London. (IANS)