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Report: Cryptojacking Drives 88% Of Remote Code Execution Attacks

(Image credit: Imperva)

An Imperva study found that cryptojacking attacks are on the rise, with 88% of remote code execution (RCE) attacks sent a request to download cryptomining clients to infected machines. 

Cryptojacking Through RCE Vulnerabilities

According to Imperva, RCE vulnerabilities are usually exploited by attackers in a manner that brings them the most money. Up until now, RCE flaws were used to enroll the infected machines to DDoS botnets and then offer that botnet as a “DDoS for hire” service.

However, in the past few months, attackers have been increasingly switching from building large botnets to infecting machines with cryptomining malware. They then make money from selling the generated cryptocurrency. This way, the attackers can eliminate the middlemen and see a faster return on investment.

Attackers prefer to use cryptocurrencies that use mining algorithms that can be solved by CPUs, such as Monero, or GPUs, such as Ethereum. Imperva also found the attackers used relatively new cryptocurrencies such as Electroneum, which could be mined more efficiently on mobile devices.

Bitcoin mining has been extremely inefficient on CPUs for years. These days, it can only be mined with specialized hardware, called application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), so attackers avoid using it in their cryptomining malware.

The cryptojackers would use up to 90% of a system’s resources in order to maximize their cryptocurrency gains. However, this should usually halt most of the other tasks on a computer or server, which would then alert the owners of the machines that something is wrong. In a recent cryptojacking attack against Tesla’s cloud infrastructure, the attackers preferred to stay under the radar and avoid detection.

Protection Against Cryptojacking

Imperva advised organizations to keep their software up to date in order to avoid most of the RCE attacks from cryptojackers. If there are no RCEs to be exploited, then cryptojackers' jobs become much more difficult.

  • Christopher1
    Cryptojacking is something that is never going to go away. I am pro-Bitcoin because it allows people to be anonymous in what they buy (especially when some 'moral guardian' would get flustered by what they buy).
    Reply
  • R_1
    "bitcoin is not anonymous"
    https://bitcoin.org/en/you-need-to-know
    halfway down the page.

    why do we ascribe value to useless things?
    HUMANS NEVER LEARN, but it is fun to watch.
    bitcoin and other crypto currencies are massive power wasters. Now its the reason every website is hijacking my PC.
    Reply
  • Christopher1
    20727528 said:
    "bitcoin is not anonymous"
    https://bitcoin.org/en/you-need-to-know
    halfway down the page.

    why do we ascribe value to useless things?
    HUMANS NEVER LEARN, but it is fun to watch.
    bitcoin and other crypto currencies are massive power wasters. Now its the reason every website is hijacking my PC.

    Bitcoin is about as anonymous as you can get today. If it was NOT then the feds would NOT be freaking out about it and saying "It could be used by them gosh-durned terr'rists!"
    Yes, in the real world if you do things like:
    1. Use a credit card bought in a store with cash.
    2. Keep the bitcoins you buy segregated by only buying with anonymous methods (i.e. anonymous credit card).

    Yep, bitcoin is anonymous and you do not have to worry about the government tracking your transactions.
    Reply
  • Zaporro
    Cryptocurrencies, the cancer of XXI

    Hopefully it will all go to the gutter sooner or later. Power waster, scams, ransomware powered by crypto, cryptojacking and general douchebagery and abuses related to it (stealing power, mining on public computers, mining on websites). There is nothing good from cryptocurrencies (not blockchain technology but the cryptocurrencies and this perverted pseudo stock market).
    Reply
  • coolitic
    Bitcoin is anonymous if you have half a brain, but it most certainly isn't inherently so. Anyways, the Lightning Network will largely fix scaling and power consumption issues.
    Reply