Cryptokjacking—unauthorized use of one’s computing resources for mining of cryptocurrencies—has started to gain momentum among cyber criminals in the region, new research reveals.
The year 2017 witnessed tremendous rise in cryptocurrency values eliciting a cryptojacking gold rush amongst cyber criminals who are making an attempt to cash in on an unstable market. According to a recent report by Symantec, instances of cryptojacking has skyrocketed by nearly 8500% in Q4 of 2017.
Cyber criminals are constantly making use of stolen processing power and cloud CPU usage from users and corporate institutions to mine cryptocurrency. While not necessarily as destructive as malware, cryptojacking causes computers to overheat and damages them. For enterprise organizations, coinminers add to the cost putting corporate networks at risk of shutdown and expand cloud CPU usage.
Last year the U.A.E. tackled major threats from cyptominers, ransomware and malware. According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report, the U.S. had the largest global share of all cryptomining detections in 2017—nearly 24.47%—followed by Japan and Germany. In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has the highest share of cyptominers, while U.A.E. had the third largest. The U.A.E. is now ranked 52 when it comes to internet security threat and in the region the Emirates takes the 9th position in terms of internet security.
Globally the Ransomware—a type of malware often linked to cryptocurrencies—has surged in 2017, possibly owing to the investors’ interest in the best performing cryptocurrency Bitcoin that surged in value towards the latter half of the last year. In fact ransomeware is often used as a tool to disrupt the system, the same as NotPetya—the highly vicious malware that affected banks and other organizations last year.