Cryptojacking of financial institutions up threefold in 2022

Hackers turn to using firms’ computers to mine crypto after ransomware attacks get harder

Hacker                                 
Cryptojacking in the retail sector has risen by 69% - Photo:Shutterstock
                                

Financial institutions are increasingly falling foul of hackers trying to use banks’ and brokers’ computer systems to mine cryptocurrencies. 

SonicWall report finds substantial rise in cryptojacking

Dubbed “cryptojacking”, the phenomenon has grown substantially, according to a report published by the cybersecurity firm SonicWall. 

It said: “Cryptojacking targeting the retail industry increased 63% year to date, while attacks on the financial industry skyrocketed 269%."

The rise in cryptojacking has taken place in part because firms are unaware of the trend. 

The growth has also been attributed to the fact that ransomware attacks have become easier to combat and have thus declined in recent years.

The report said: “Unlike ransomware, which announces its presence and relies heavily on communication with victims, cryptojacking can succeed without the victim ever being aware of it. And for some cybercriminals feeling the heat, the lower risk is worth sacrificing a potentially higher payday.”

Cryptojacking is usually triggered by a victim clicking on a malicious link. Hackers also embed malicious bits of JavaScript code onto a webpage, in a trend called drive-by crypto mining.

Terry Greer-King, SonicWall’s vice-president for EMEA, told TechMonitor earlier this month: “It has a lower potential of being detected by the victim; unsuspecting users across the world see their devices get unaccountably slower, but it’s hard to tie it to criminal activity, much less point to the source." 

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