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McAfee Report Shows Alarming Rise in Ransomware and Cryptojacking Attacks

A recently released threat report from McAfee Labs revealed an increase in ransomware attacks and crypto jacking attacks in the first quarter of the year. The August 2019 report was posted on the company’s website. 

The renowned cybersecurity company’s report indicated that incidents of crypto jacking – installing and using a crypto miner without the user’s consent – went up by 29% in the first quarter of 2019. 

McAfee Labs also uncovered new types of malware for both Apple and Microsoft Windows users.

The company identified PsMiner as being a crypto jacking operation. It was used to mine Monero (XMR) on machines powered by Windows. McAfee reportedly discovered that PsMiner took advantage of a PowerShell command to distribute its payload. The security group later found that this was the norm for crypto jacking campaigns that target Windows PCs. 

CookieMiner

McAfee also found a malware family named CookieMiner. The virus reportedly focuses on Apple users and is said to mine the Koto cryptocurrency. The digital asset seems to be a zero-knowledge proof token from Japan. 

The insidious program allegedly also steals personal data from the users’ computers. McAfee has reportedly observed the malware swipe data from established crypto service platforms like Binance, Bittrex, Bitstamp, Coinbase, Poloniex, and MyEtherWallet. 

The McAfee Labs’ report also noted that the first quarter of the year saw ransomware attacks go up by 118%. The security firm claimed that one of the ransomware attacks utilized the Ryuk malware group. The virus made its presence felt in early 2019 and brought newspaper printing in the US to a standstill.

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