The surge in Bitcoin prices has driven widescale interest in cryptocurrencies. While the future of digital currencies is uncertain, they are shaking up the cybersecurity landscape as they continue to influence the intent and nature of attacks.

Cybercriminals gave cryptocurrencies a bad name when ransomware started instructing victims to pay ransom in the form of digital currencies, most notably Bitcoin, the first and most popular of these currencies. It was not an unexpected move – digital currencies provide the anonymity that cybercriminals desire.

The sharp increase in the value of digital currencies is a windfall for cybercriminals who have successfully extorted Bitcoins from ransomware victims. These dynamics are driving cybercriminal activity related to cryptocurrencies and have led to an explosion of cryptocurrency miners (also called cryptominers or coin miners) in various forms. Mining is the process of running complex mathematical calculations necessary to maintain the blockchain ledger. This process rewards coins but requires significant computing resources.

Coin miners are not inherently malicious. Some individuals and organizations invest in hardware and electric power for legitimate coin mining operations.

However, others are looking for alternative sources of computing power; as a result, some coin miners find their way into corporate networks. While not malicious, these coin miners are not wanted in enterprise environments because they eat up precious computing resources. Read more from…

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