Cybercriminals are looking for cryptocurrency: there are more than four times more new versions of miners in March 2021 than in February
Miners are malware designed to steal cryptocurrency from infected devices. They are often installed without the knowledge of users, and then gradually start pumping various types of cryptocurrencies, in some cases millions of dollars. Although this type of software has been especially popular with cybercriminals since 2018, its popularity continued to decline throughout 2020.
However, according to the results of the latest report by Kaspersky Lab on the analysis of malware for the first quarter of 2021, the situation has changed. In fact, from February to March 2021, the total number of new minor modifications more than quadrupled from 3,815 to 16,934. In total, in the first quarter of 2021, Kaspersky Lab researchers discovered more than 23,894 new minor modifications.
The number of Kaspersky Lab users who identified minors using their tools has steadily increased from 187,746 in January to 200,045 in March 2021. In the first quarter of 2021, 432,171 unique users encountered minors.
“It’s too early to say for sure if the trend we saw in the first quarter of 2021 will continue. However, it seems that the rise in the value of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies has sparked a surge in interest in the use of minors. If the cryptocurrency markets remain strong this year, we will probably continue to see more cases of users encountering minors, ”comments Evgeny Lopatin, security expert, Kaspersky.
Other notable trends in the report include a decrease in the number of users encountering banking Trojans for mobile devices and PCs, and an increase in the number of modifications of ransomware Trojans, from 3,096 in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 4,354 in the first quarter of 2021.
Check out the full Securelist report (and you can find reports focusing specifically on mobile and non-mobile devices).
To reduce the risk of infection for minors, Kaspersky Lab experts recommend:
• Install a reliable security solution on your computer.
• Since minors are often distributed as “dangerous software” (dangerous software), they are not automatically blocked by security solutions. You can adjust the settings of your security solution to block all “potentially dangerous” programs.
• To always keep the software up to date on all the devices you use. To prevent minors from exploiting vulnerabilities, use tools that can automatically detect vulnerabilities and download and install patches.
• Choose to install apps from legitimate sources (for example, from official app stores).