Roughly a third of UK companies have encountered cryptocurrency mining malware in a single month, according to a survey commissioned by Citrix and published by Internet of Business. The poll was conducted in May and only covered businesses with more than 250 employees.
Some 38% of the questioned companies think they were never targeted, whereas 59% have experienced some form of cryptojacking in the past. Out of those affected, 80% state the event(s) occurred in the last six months, which is not that surprising given the boom in cryptocurrency prices at the time.
According to the survey, most of the attacks (60%) targeted up to 50 devices, and only 11% have had a scope of more than 100. The broader reach of such an infection has a greater impact on companies’ bottom line. Cryptojacking (or having malware, which uses a portion of your PC or smartphone’s resources to mine cryptocurrencies) slows down the performance and increases the power consumption of your devices.
Only 16% of the respondents found out about the problem due to a noticeable change in their device’s behavior, but another 34% were alerted by employees. Another 38% have detected the issue via their network monitoring tools, and only 7% were caught by anti-malware software packages.
On a positive note, more than two-thirds (67%) of the surveyed companies now apply some form of protective measures. This number is rather high, given the relatively new nature of the problem. This particular threat is here to stay – a new report by the Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism, concluded it is a preferred option for fraudsters.
Other forms of cryptocurrency related scams take a more old-fashioned approach, relying on users’ lack of knowledge. Kaspersky Labs, a leading cybersecurity firm estimates $2.3 million worth of Ether (ETH) were stolen by the various forms of scams, ranging from face ICOs to “giveaways”.