OREANDA-NEWS. Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd., a leading provider of cyber-security solutions globally, has revealed a steep rise in crypto-mining malware during December 2017.  Check Point’s researchers found that crypto-miners had impacted 55% of organizations globally during December, with ten different variants in the top 100 list of malware, and two variants in the top three.  Using crypto-miners, cybercriminals hijack the victim’s CPU or GPU power and existing resources to mine cryptocurrency.  

Furthermore, Check Point found that cryptocurrency miners have intentionally been injected into some top websites, mostly media streaming and file sharing services, without notifying the users. While some of this activity is legal and legitimate, the tools can be hacked to dominate more power and generate more revenue, using as much as 65% of the end-users’ CPU power.

Maya Horowitz, Threat Intelligence Group Manager at Check Point at Check Point commented: “Users are increasingly distrusting pop-up and banner adverts and using ad-blocking software, so websites are increasingly using crypto-miners as an alternative revenue source – often without the knowledge or permission of users, whose machines are being harnessed for mining.” Maya continues: “As a result, threat actors are also using crypto-mining tools to drain even more of users’ computing power for their own gain, and it’s likely we’ll see this trend continue to rise over the coming months.”

In December, the crypto-miner Coinhive replaced RoughTed as the most prevalent threat, while the Rig ek exploit kit maintained its position in second. Another new entry to the top ten, the crypto-miner Cryptoloot is in third.