Cryptojacking Is An Emerging Cybercrime Trend, Says Europol

Crime, News | September 20, 2018 By:

European law enforcement agency Europol has published a new report that provides insights into emerging threats in the crypto sector.

In its “Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment 2018” (IOCTA) report, the agency warned that cybercriminals are adopting creative new techniques to target their victims at an unprecedented pace and are constantly seeking methods to avoid law enforcement detection. According to the report, “cryptojacking” is an emerging cybercrime trend, which refers to the exploitation of Internet users’ bandwidth and processing power to mine cryptocurrencies.

“Cryptomining has been exploited by financially motivated cybercriminals, who for instance hack legitimate websites to cryptojack users visiting those sites,” the report said. “Such attacks are much more appealing to cybercriminals wishing to keep a low profile, requiring little or no victim engagement and, at least currently, minimal law enforcement attention (with browser-based mining not actually being illegal).”

Europol warns that the rise of cryptomining malware “may overtake ransomware as a future threat. While it is not illegal in some cases, the agency said it nonetheless creates additional revenue streams and therefore motivation for cybercriminals to hack legitimate websites to exploit their visitor systems.

The report also said that while bitcoin’s share of the cryptocurrency market is shrinking, it still remains the primary cryptocurrency encountered by law enforcement.