Kaspersky: Crypto-mining malware on the rise, with many unaware

The popularity of malware-based attacks that hijack computers to mine cryptocurrency continues to rise, according to internet-security firm Kaspersky. The good news is these attacks are less invasive that "ransomware," where a computer is locked down until the cyber crooks get paid to release its contents. The bad news is that crypto-mining malware operates often insidiously, taking 70-80% of a computer's power away to mine digital currencies on behalf of nefarious actors before users even notice.

Crypto-mining malware often gets installed unwittingly, through pirated content like videos, through modified game software, and even through browser windows running scripts. While the number of attacks seems to have declined with lower prices in the crypto markets of late, the threat remains. Kaspersky has measured an average of approximately 1 million infections per month in 2018. Another small upside: All this surreptitious crypto mining has taken computing power among from other malware endeavors, like denial-of-service attacks. (Source: Kaspersky Security Lab)

About Author

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times. He runs the Technotopia podcast about a better future. He has written five books including the best book on blogging, Bloggers Boot Camp, and a book about the most expensive timepiece ever made, Marie Antoinette’s Watch. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Disclosure: Biggs owns and maintains cryptocurrencies in a private account and has been consulting with startups regarding blockchain-based products. He also edits and writes for startup clients.

More by John Biggs