Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity company, said in a new report that attacks using extortion – when a malicious file blocks a computer before redemption – almost halved, as criminals instead went instead to deploying a malicious mining program. This is mainly due to the fact that crypto mining is now more profitable than ransom, according to the report.
In a press release, Kaspersky explained that they compared the data from April 2016 to March 2017 with data from April 2017 to March 2018. He found that extortion, which encrypts users’ computers, was reduced by almost 44.6% from 2017 to 2018. At the same time, the malicious crypto-mining program grew by 44.5%.
Moreover, in terms of the number of cases of illegal mining in 2016, they increased from 1.87 to 2.7 million at the end of 2017, the company said.
Kaspersky said that he expects that these figures will continue to grow, especially as criminals increasingly choose mining on mobile devices:
“It’s very likely that additional growth in production will begin at the expense of mobile miners. Now they are growing at a very steady pace. However, when criminals find a technological solution that makes a profit from mining on mobile devices, equivalent to that from mining on a PC, mobile mining will quickly become equal.”
The report expresses special concern for residents of China and India, which account for about a third of all smartphones around the world.
“While the ransom provides potentially large, but one-time revenue to hackers, miners will provide a lower but more sustained income. Today, miners continue to spread around the world attracting more people and their mobile devices.”