Cryptominers affected organisations 10 times more than ransomware in 2018 but only one in five IT security professionals were aware that their companys networks had been infected by mining malware, a new report said on Thursday.
According to cyber security firm Check Point, tools and services used to commit cyber crime have become democratised, with advanced attack methods now available to anyone willing to pay for them, which is part of the growing "malware-as-a-service" industry.
Thirty seven per cent organisations globally were hit by cryptominers in 2018, and 20 per cent companies continue to be hit every week despite an 80 per cent fall in cryptocurrency values.
However, the threat risk of cryptominers has been underrated by organisations.
"When asked what they rated as the biggest threats to their firm, just 16 per cent stated cryptomining, compared with DDoS attacks (34 per cent), data breaches (53 per cent), ransomware (54 per cent) and phishing (66 per cent).
"This is concerning as cryptominers can easily act as stealth backdoors to download and launch other types of malware," the company said in a statement.
"The report shows how cybercriminals are successfully exploring stealthy new approaches and business models, such as malware affiliate programmes, to maximise their illegal revenues while reducing their risk of detection," said Peter Alexander, Chief Marketing Officer, Check Point Software Technologies.
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