Cryptojacking Down 23% in First Drop since 2018

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • Reports of cryptojacking were 23% down in the last quarter, according to a new report
  • Threat intelligence firm Unit 42 reported that cryptojacking dropped for the first time since 2018
  • Unit 42 says companies are better prepared to deal with such attacks days

Cryptojacking dropped 23% in the last quarter, the first such drop since 2018, despite the coronavirus pandemic boosting authorized crypto-mining activity. The drop was reported by threat intelligence firm Unit 42, who put the reduction in cryptojacking attacks down to better preparedness by companies, although they add that many are still unprepared for such attacks on their cloud infrastructure.

First Drop Since 2018

Cryptojacking is the practice of maliciously inserting code into a website so that the computational power of any users logging into that site will go towards mining cryptocurrency, typically XMR, for the hackers.

Unit 42 found that only 17% of organizations with cloud infrastructure showed symptoms of cryptojacking activity between December 2020 and February 2021, compared to 23% in July-September of last year. This is the first recorded drop since Unit 42 began tracking cryptojacking trends in 2018, a drop that Unit 42 puts down to “organizations…doing a better job of protecting against cryptojacking attacks.”

Interestingly, the Unit 42 report also shows that cryptojacking activity fluctuated during the period, increasing and decreasing in intensity in alignment with key political and economic developments related to the pandemic. This suggests that, like almost every business in the world, incentives to mine cryptocurrency were impacted by the pandemic.

Cryptojacking Report Backs Up Prior Evidence

The news that cryptojacking is on the wane backs up a Microsoft study from last August which found that cryptojacking in all forms was down 40% in 2019. In 2018 cryptojacking malware was the most sought after malware on the dark web, but it seems that the practice has fallen out of favor among hackers, who prefer other means of stealing cryptocurrency.