Crypto mining malware has reduced drastically along side crypto prices, but this is not due to the bear market. New studies state that occurrences of browser hijack are less likely to occur now that a major crypto menace has been put offline.
Malwarebytes, a cybersecurity company, recently reported that there has been a 79% decrease in cryptocurrency mining attacks, as compared to stats from the same time last year. They also stated that this drop is due to the shut down of CoinHive in March 2019. The report added:
“Marked by the popular drive-by mining company CoinHive shutting down operations in early March, consumer cryptomining seems to have gone the way of the dodo. Detections of consumer-focused Bitcoin miners have dropped significantly over the last year and even from last quarter,”
Webmasters were allowed by CoinHive, to install a script which would have access and use the computing power of any visitor of the website, and most times the visitors have no knowledge of this.
This acted as a source of extra revenue for themselves by mining Monero illegally. Antivirus firms began blocking the script as CoinHive grew. The script gained massive popularity between 2017 and 2018. Malwarebytes has however stated that the rate has plummeted since then,
“We went from tens of millions of blocks to an estimated two million per day”.
In February, 2019, CoinHive announced its closure stating that the increased difficulty in the mining of Monero giving the recent XMR hardfork and the current bear market as the reason.
Reports also say that the profitability of Monero mining has dropped drastically, the XMR is currently traded at 62 USD, which is a long way from its peak at 500 USD.
Coinimp And Cryptoloot
Scripts similar to that of Coinhive such as COINIMP and CryptoLoot, have since emerged, unlike CoinHive which targets websites, they make use of file hosting services or torrent portals. A fake version of Metamask was in February found on the Google play store.
Check Point, a cybersecurity company states that the CoinHive script can be reawakened if there is a massive hike in cryptocurrency prices again;
Malware On Ledger Desktop
Ledger, a cryptocurrency wallet, recently detected a malware which attacks its desktop app. Ledger told it’s users, that the malware replaces the original version with a malicious one that asks them to enter their 24 word passphrase after a phony update.
Currently, only Windows systems seem to be affected by this malware, and the malware is not capable of stealing or mining cryptocurrency, it only tries to get user passphrases through via fraudulent means.