Microsoft now sees over 600,000 PCs exposed to coin-mining malware each month. By Liam Tung

| March 13, 2018 — 14:06 GMT (07:06 PDT)

| Topic: Security Video: Microsoft’s reverse-engineering unveils secrets of FinFisher government spyware.

Microsoft says it’s seen a huge surge in coin-mining trojans hitting Windows PCs across the world in the past six months and is cautioning businesses not to treat them as a nuisance but as a serious threat. Between September 2017 and January 2018 on average 644,000 computers become potentially infected with coin-mining malware, according to Microsoft’s Windows Defender researchers Alden Pornasdoro, Michael Johnson, and Eric Avena.

The rise of trojan cryptocurrency miners and browser-based cryptojacking has coincided with a drop in ransomware infections. But while there’s a consensus that ransomware is a menace, coin-mining malware that drains energy and processing capacity is often just viewed as an irritant.

Microsoft even had to defend last week’s action against the massive Dofoil outbreak, which attempted to infect over 400,000 PCs with a coin-miner. Windows Defender researcher Jessica Payne said the team treated the Dofoil outbreak as a priority because it could have also been used to deliver ransomware.

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