Aaron Lammer, co-host of the Longform journalism podcast and cryptocurrency show Coin Talk, didn’t even notice at first when his website was hacked. Instead, a follower tipped him off that aaronlammer.com had been replaced by a notice that read “Ooops, your website has been encrypted!” and a countdown clock, indicating that the site would be deleted unless a ransom of 0.025 Bitcoin, or about $230 at the time of writing, was paid to the hacker.
Ransomware attacks peaked in 2016 and 2017 with attacks like WannaCry targeting millions of machines and demanding cryptocurrency payment. According to a report from the cybersecurity firm SonicWall, these types of attacks have been on the decline in 2018 (though more unique ransomware strains are emerging), and the tactic is still popular with hackers.
Cybercriminals have benefited from the proliferation of cryptocurrency as a semi-anonymous way to send cash. “Cryptojacking,” in which hackers seize control of a user’s machine without their knowledge and use the processing power to mine cryptocurrencies, has increased 27 percent from the last quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018, according to the security software firm Malware Bytes, which releases a quarterly cybercrime report.
Meanwhile, hackers are still targeting individual public-facing Bitcoin users such as cryptocurrency YouTubers. “From driveby mining attacks via browser to scams meant to drain users’ cryptowallets, cybercriminals are taking every opportunity to exploit the rising value and popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” the Malware Bytes report says.
Luckily for Lammer, he didn’t really care about this particular website, which is just a single page with links to his projects. So he used the opportunity to troll. Read more from theverge.com…
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