Last year, the worldwide destruction of WannaCry ransomware attacks made headlines everywhere. Users from more than 140 countries bore the brunt of this nasty cryptovirological activity. Even though no precise estimation has been made, it is clear that millions of dollars were spent on ransomware removal and recovery measures.
For this year, however, the reports suggest that cybercriminals are more interested in acquiring financial gains instead of making headlines. According to the midyear report by an IT security firm, a large number of cybercriminals have focused their energies on instigating cryptojacking attacks. This type of malevolent cyber activity has gained much traction after the unprecedented popularity of cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin.
Cyber attackers stealthily infiltrate the user’s device and hijack its computing capabilities for mining of cryptocurrency. In the majority of cryptojacking attacks, the affected users couldn’t find out that they have been a victim of cyber malevolence.
As per the report, cryptojacking activities have experienced a 96 percent rise in the first half of 2018 as compared to the last year. This changing cybercrime landscape begs the question: Have cybercriminals particularly ransomware operators shifted to the low-profile attacks of cryptojacking?
There is no one-word answer to that question. Cryptojacking activity has experienced an exponential growth in the last six months. However, that doesn’t mean cybercriminals will refrain from cryptovirological attacks that result in quicker payouts in the form of extortion money for ransomware removal.
In addition, the situation on the ground also suggests that ransomware operators are still wrecking havoc and making headlines. However, this year their focus has been on public entities. Cryptovirological attacks shutting down the municipal system of Atlanta city or disrupting the services at Allscripts is a manifestation of the fact that ransomware removal expertise will remain in demand.