Cryptojacking became popular last year as Bitcoin prices skyrocketed. Symantec blocked various attempts last year and said the operation results in heating of batteries and slowing down devices in addition to increasing bills
A new report released by Symantec says that hijacking of computers for purposes of unauthorized mining of cryptocurrencies increased by 8500 percent in the final quarter of 2017. This came in the time when Bitcoin prices spiked to all time high last year. The overall increase in cryptojacking was about 34,000 percent in 2017.
Further, the report says that cryptojacking comprised of 24 percent of all online attacks blocked by them last December and 16 percent of those blocked in three months of 2017.
The company said the rise of cryptojacking results from rise of easy-to-operate coin minings apps. It says that hijacking other people’s CPUs and computer resources to mine cryptocurrencies. Since it is far easier now than installing a virus into a target computer. It says computers that are patched might also be vulnerable due to these apps.
The report further details the impacts of cryptojacking. They include slowing down devices and overheating batteries. Also, devices have a reduced lifespan.
While users might realize that something is wrong when their power bills go high. It might be harder to realize if the bill is low.
Symantec’s director of Security Response Kevin Haley says The Verge that although most of cryptojacking is browser-based, hijacking PCs, Macs and smartphones, attackers also looking for ways to obtain more processing power for greater profits.