Sweden Beset by Cryptojacking Woes

Symantec notes that Sweden takes home the prize for the most dramatic growth in cryptojacking incidents during the last quarter of 2017.

As cryptocurrency-related attacks become more profitable, hackers are finding new ways to get the greatest bang for their buck, sometimes resorting to a special type of attack called cryptojacking. Sweden is now suffering a barrage of such attacks, with the figure ballooning by around 10,000% at the end of last year, according to research by US cyber security company Symantec.

“It has gone through the roof. I’ve never seen such a big change in the short term,” news provider TT cited Symantec expert Ola Rehnberg as saying.

The cryptojacking boom in Sweden is the largest recorded so far, but it is not that far above the average, which sits in the region of 8,500%.

Towards the end of last year, Symantec researcher Candid Wueest warned about this phenomenon when he predicted that we would see an explosion of cryptocurrency-related malware in 2018.

“Defacing a website is fun for some people, but it’s not profitable—this is, and so we think it will increase,” he said.

Indeed, 2018 saw an increase in both the sophistication and frequency of attacks, putting immense pressure on cybersecurity firms to come up with solutions that would help prevent such incursions.

Wueest added that “it doesn’t cost much” to commandeer websites for cryptojacking.

There are numerous vulnerabilities in mainstream web platforms that allow hackers to put a minimum of effort to inject scripts like those offered by Coinhive and wait for the money to roll in.

In an ideal implementation, hackers can have a script that uses only part of a visitor’s CPU power when they go to a website, slowing their system down but not enough to cause any readily noticeable changes.

It might only result in pennies, but when the initial investment is $0, no one is likely to complain about getting modest returns.

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