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Cryptojacking shows no signs of slowing down in 2019, says ESET

Created: 2018-12-18 18:00:00

18th December 2018 – Cases of cryptocurrency mining and cryptojacking will continue to grow in 2019, as attackers target smart devices and home assistants to build cryptomining farms, according to ESET’s latest trends report.  Along with cryptomining, Cybersecurity Trends 2019: “Privacy and intrusion in the global village” details the predictions of top experts from the global cybersecurity firm, revealing the cybersecurity trends set to impact businesses in 2019.

Trend #1: Cryptomining continues to rise
Cryptocurrency mining beat ransomware in terms of media attention in the past year, and cryptojacking – the process by which a device is hijacked illegitimately – “shows no signs of slowing down,” according to ESET Senior Security Researcher David Harley.

Commenting on this trend, Harley said, “We can expect to see more coin-mining software attempting to remove competing coinminers on compromised systems in order to get a higher-calorie slice of the processing pie.”

Trend #2: Automation to advance social engineering campaigns
ESET asserts that 2019 will see an increase in cybercriminals’ use of automation and machine learning in attempts to collect more data so they can launch more personalized and sophisticated social engineering campaigns. While it is unlikely that cybercriminals will have access to the wealth of data stored by vendors, such as people’s regular shopping trips, they could employ web trackers that follow victims between websites or gather information from data brokers to form profiles.

Lysa Myers, ESET Senior Security Researcher, writes, “While some phishing and other fraud scams have certainly improved in their ability to mimic legitimate sources, many are still painfully obvious fakes. Machine learning could help increase effectiveness in this area.”

Trend #3: Data privacy will make or break companies
In 2018, issues around data privacy and protection came sharply into focus following a number of high-profile cyberattacks, data leaks and privacy missteps, as well as the implementation of GDPR. ESET Senior Security Researchers Stephen Cobb and Lysa Myers commented that in light of incidents such as Cambridge Analytica, we are likely to see people searching for alternatives to the platforms such as Facebook that currently dominate. Given the importance of customer data to companies, individuals, and to cybercriminals, ESET argues that the ability to properly manage data privacy could decide which companies stay in business in 2019.

Trend #4: A move towards a global privacy law?
Following the implementation of GDPR, ESET questions whether the EU legislation is the first step towards a global privacy law, particularly as similar models start to appear in California, Brazil, and Japan. Considering this, ESET warns against dismissing privacy rights and data protection as an EU anomaly. The pressure to protect customers’ data and ensure the privacy of sensitive information is a global issue and will certainly encourage a move towards GDPR-style privacy around the world.

Trend #5: Attackers set their sights on smart home devices
An increase in the adoption of cryptocurrencies, as well as a rise in the number of devices connected to the internet, could mean that smart devices and home assistants become the entry point for attackers to build cryptomining farms in 2019.
We have already seen how cybercriminals have used IoT devices to launch major denial of service attacks, but as more devices become connected and engrained into people’s lives in 2019, attackers will continue to hunt for the devices’ vulnerabilities and use them to implement threats like scams, ransomware, and cryptocurrency mining more widely.

For more on the trends set to impact the industry in 2019, read ESET’s Cybersecurity Trends 2019: “Privacy and intrusion in the global village”.


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Version 2 Limited is one of the most dynamic IT companies in Asia. The company develops and distributes IT products for Internet and IP-based networks, including communication systems, Internet software, security, network, and media products. Through an extensive network of channels, point of sales, resellers, and partnership companies, Version 2 Limited offers quality products and services which are highly acclaimed in the market. Its customers cover a wide spectrum which include Global 1000 enterprises, regional listed companies, public utilities, Government, a vast number of successful SMEs, and consumers in various Asian cities.

About ESET

For 30 years, ESET® has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services for businesses and consumers worldwide. With solutions ranging from endpoint security to encryption and two-factor authentication, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use products give individuals and businesses the peace of mind to enjoy the full potential of their technology. ESET unobtrusively protects and monitors 24/7, updating defenses in real time to keep users safe and businesses running without interruption. Evolving threats require an evolving IT security company. Backed by R&D facilities worldwide, ESET became the first IT security company to earn 100 Virus Bulletin VB100 awards, identifying every single “in-the-wild” malware without interruption since 2003.


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