50,000 Websites infected with Cryptocurrency Mining Malware
Cryptocurrency mining has definitely become more and more popular as the price of bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies started to increase. However, with this growth in popularity also came an increased interest from cybercriminals for this market. Now, it seems that cybercriminals have found a new way to exploit cryptocurrencies.
Research says cybercriminals have infected websites with scripts to mine Monero
A new research, the Bad Packets Report, conducted by Trop Mursch, has indicated that a total of 50,000 websites have been hosting a type of cryptocurrency mining malware. Apparently, in most of the cases, the malware used visitors' computers with the purpose to mine Monero, whose value has been increasing, but it is still more easily mined.
The research indicated that in many cases the malware was installed by website owners, who wanted to use mining as an extra way to earn more money from their websites. Some of these websites give visitors the possibility to opt-out, but many others do not offer that opportunity.
Of course, in many cases the situation was slightly different and cybercriminals have embedded malware into websites, exploiting the vulnerabilities of these websites and using visitors' hardware to illicitly generate funds. Until now, there have been numerous reports of websites in the US, UK and Australia being infected through a vulnerability with cryptocurrency mining malware. Government websites were also affected.
At some point, it has also been reported that a website operated by the LA Times was infected with digital currency mining malware to mine Monero. However, this is just one side of the attacks that have occurred lately. Recently, attacks have been targeting Android devices, as well as Microsoft Word documents and even Telegram.