Cryptojacking Makes Unwelcome Return

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  • 2023 has so far seen a 400% surge in cryptojacking attacks
  • Cybersecurity firm Sonicwall revealed the news in its mid-year report
  • Cryptojackers are targeting new devices and services like cloud services and compromised macOS applications

The criminal act of cryptojacking has made an unwelcome return, with cybersecurity firm Sonicwall claiming that there has been a 400% rise in the practice this year. In its mid-year update, the firm recorded a massive rise in cryptojacking attacks during the first half of 2023, with attackers purportedly targeting new devices and services, such as cloud services, certain macOS applications, and Oracle WebLogic servers.

Crytpojacking is Back in Black

Cryptojacking is the process of an attacker injecting malware into a computer or website’s JavaScript file, so it can secretly mine cryptocurrencies using the individual’s CPU power. Once the malware has been injected into the device, it will then send instructions to the CPU to try and solve complex mathematical puzzles known as hashes.

Once the CPU has completed a batch of hashes, it will then send this data back to the attacker, who will then submit it to the blockchain and receive a reward. Unfortunately – unlike mining pools – you won’t get to see any of these rewards as the victim of a crypto jacking.

Record Breaking Numbers

Cryptojacking was big business in 2017 as proof-of-work coins were all the rage, but the practice decreased in popularity as hackers targeted DeFi protocols and smart contracts instead. It seems, however, that the old scourge has returned, with Sonicwall recording 332 million hits in the first six months of 2023, compared to just 66.7 million during the first half of last year.

The 2023 half-year total exceeds the combined full-year totals for 2020, 2021, and 2022, which, in a sign that the problem has secretly been getting worse, were themselves all record-breaking years.

Sonicwall revealed that criminals are moving away from hardware endpoints such as smartphones and home web browsers, which have increased surveillance and are increasingly targeting the likes of cloud services, compromised macOS applications and Oracle WebLogic servers.

Find out how to protect yourself against cryptojacking exploits with our handy guide.