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)