A recent report on the issue of Internet security from independent company, working in this field, emphasized the growing threat of distribution for covert mining on devices with Linux. The results show that in the first quarter of 2018 almost all versions of malware downloaders for Linux has been developed for covert cryptocurrency mining.
According to the latest report
WatchGuard Technologies, the proliferation of covert mining is growing and in the near future, these programs can take a leading place. It is expected that this form of attack will be included in the top ten most popular cyber threats by the end of the year. Technical Director, WatchGuard Technologies Nachreiner Corey (Corey Nachreiner) notes:
«Although we publish this report at the end of each quarter our team of the laboratory of threats every day studying the results. Daily monitoring early in the second quarter of this year show that for covert mining is consistently in the top 25 most popular threats. It is too early to say that they are in the top 10 threats of the second quarter, but we expect them to gain popularity over the next few quarters.»
The report highlighted the discovery of 98.8% of malicious programs using a script that loads and starts cryptainer in Linux. The report also detailed similar attacks, which are called «cryptogenic», and provides details on how the script makes the device on Linux to download and run a Monero miner, which consumes computing power of the device.
The results of the report are based on data collected from a network of almost 40 000 active devices around the world.
Cryptogenic repeatedly mentioned in recent months as one of the main problems in the field of cybersecurity, due to the profitability of this form of cyber attack.
One of the most recent major attack occurred in may of this year. Then the hackers had infected
hundreds of sites with the content management system (CMS) Drupal program Coinhive used for mining Monero. If the site is infected with a program for covert mining, its visitors might not even notice that their computers are mining cryptocurrency for hackers. Attack slow down users ‘ devices and can cause premature wear of computer equipment.
To protect against cryptogamia, WatchGuard recommends to install the browser extension No Coin or similar.
However, not everyone uses the software for mining cryptocurrencies with malicious intent. News publication, Salon organization and UNICEF used browser mining to raise funds for charity and run Coinhive with the permission of the site visitors.