Cryptojacking malware uses stealth: it secretly infects a victim’s computer or smartphone with malware which uses the CPU of the device to mine for cryptocurrency, which is secretly transferred into a wallet owned by the attacker. In theory, most users aren’t going to think much about why their computer is suddenly working harder, so won’t uncover how they’ve been infected with a cryptojacker.
However, it’s big business: at least five percent of the Monero cryptocurrency in circulation has been mined via cryptojacking activity, the research claims, as criminals increasingly turn to the cryptocurrency mining as means of making illicit profit. The analysis by researchers at security company Palo Alto Network’s Unit 42 analysed hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrency samples and mining tools and came to the conclusion that five percent figure currently represents a value of $143,750,400.
Reads more about the findings of the research by Palo Alto Network’s Unit 42 on ZDNet.