The surge in cryptocurrency has led cybercriminals to realign their strategies and as a result, they are using their computing power to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, a new report revealed on Saturday.
This has also resulted in drop in DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.
The number of DDoS attacks detected by global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky DDoS Prevention in Q4 2020 increased slightly in comparison to the same period of 2019.
However, it is 31 per cent less compared to Q3 2020 and this drop can be connected to the growing interest in cryptocurrency mining.
“In Q4 2020, there were only 10 per cent more attacks than in Q4 2019. And compared to Q3 2020, the number of attacks in Q4 2020 fell by 31 per cent, while Q3 2020 also saw a drop compared to Q2,” the report said.
Experts suggest that this can be caused by a surge in cryptocurrency costs.
As a result, cybercriminals may have had to ‘re-profile’ some botnets so that C&C servers, that are typically used in DDoS attacks, could repurpose infected devices and use their computing power to mine cryptocurrencies instead.
The DDoS attack market is currently affected by two opposite trends.
“On the one hand, people still highly rely on stable work of online resources, which can make DDoS attacks a common choice for malefactors. However, with a spike in cryptocurrency prices, it may be more profitable for them to infect some devices with miners,” said comments Alexey Kiselev, Business Development Manager on the Kaspersky DDoS Protection team.
As a result, “we see that the total number of DDoS attacks in Q4 remained quite stable. And we can predict that this trend will continue in 2021,” he added.
Throughout 2019, as well as in the beginning of 2020, the number of cryptominers was dropping.
However, from August 2020 the trend changed, with the amount of this form of malware increasing slightly and reaching a plateau in Q4.
Cryptocurrency is still in its infancy. The rise in technologies such as Blockchain is making it easier than ever to use cryptocurrency. This technology speeds up online transactions and makes the whole process easier and more transparent, meaning that companies are beginning to invest more and more in cryptocurrency. Merge that with the fact that cryptocurrency is essentially an uncontrolled, borderless, free entity, meaning that potentially there is a lot of scope for cyberattacks. Therefore studying cyber security and employing people who are aware of and skilled at preventing these new threats is a must for all businesses. This treat is not going away anytime soon, nor are DDoS attacks.