Cryptocurrency malware is one of the most popular trends among cybercriminals. Most of these tools target Windows users because it is the leading operating system by market share. In recent weeks, various Linux variants have been discovered. This further confirms Linux users are not safe from harm.
Linux Cryptocurrency Malware
Cybercriminals have taken a strong liking to cryptocurrency. It allows for a completely new business model. The rise of ransomware has been well documented over the past few years. It now seems cryptojacking is the hot trend. Unlike what people expect, this trend is not native to Windows or mobile devices. Linux users are facing new threats related to this activity as of late.
A new report by WatchGuard Technologies paints a worrisome outlook. Cryptocurrency mining malware is on the rise across all major operating systems. In most cases, this malware revolves around cryptojacking. Hijacking a victim’s computer power to mine cryptocurrencies can be a lucrative venture. This method has also become more apparent in the form of website-based mining scripts.
Over 98% of common Linux malware variants are now cryptocurrency mining-related. Cybercriminals have put together specific tools to target that operating system. Most servers around the world run the Linux operating system through one of its many distributions. As such, those servers can prove to be a prone target for criminals distributing this malware. At-home users also need to be aware of these threats.
Cryptojacking Is Taking Over
Malicious cryptocurrency miners are here to stay, according to WatchGuard Technologies. The new trend is a mainstay in criminal activity on the internet. By targeting multiple operating systems, the criminals improve their chances of earning a passive revenue stream. WatchGuard Technologies states:
While ransomware and other advanced threats are still a major concern, these new crypto-miner attacks illustrate that bad actors are constantly adjusting their tactics to find new ways to take advantage of their victims.
The worrisome part is how potent this cryptojacking is. It can bypass basic security protection on any operating system. Although some variants are blacklisted, one in two types will go by unnoticed. Advanced malware protection for corporations and consumers seems more than warranted at this stage.
Have you been impacted by cryptojacking? Do you use Linux? Let us know in the comments below.
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