Cryptojacking spikes 1189% in Q1 2018, overtakes ransomware

Goodnight ransomware, it was good knowing you - cryptojacking is the future of cyber crimes.

Published Jul 8, 2018 3:26 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:51 AM CST
1 minute & 28 seconds read time

We all know how much cryptocurrency has had an impact in the world as it hit us, PC gamers, the most: graphics cards. They disappeared from shelves shortly after seeing hyperinflation-like prices in the huge crypto mining boom, but another explosion that happened because of crypto was all of the cryptojacking in the months following.

Cryptojacking spikes 1189% in Q1 2018, overtakes ransomware 01

According to data from McAfee Labs, cryptojacking has overtaken ransomware attacks. Raj Samani, the chief scientist at McAfee explains: "Attackers targeting cryptocurrencies may be moving from ransomware to coin miner malware, which hijacks systems to mine for cryptocurrencies and increase their profits".

McAfee's report is startling, as it explains: "Coin miner malware grew a stunning 629% to more than 2.9 million known samples in Q1 from almost 400,000 samples in Q4. This suggests that cybercriminals are warming to the prospect of monetizing infections of user systems without prompting victims to make payments, as is the case with popular ransomware schemes".

As you can see from the imaige above, cryptominers weren't really a concern until the start of the year with less than 200,000 new cryptominer malware surfacing in Q4 2017, while that number popped up over 2.5 million in Q1 2018 alone.

Personally, I can only seeing this trend continue. Sure, there's a lull in crypto prices right now but they're going to recover. Not only that, cryptocurrency is the future whether governments and people think otherwise. The internet wasn't embraced fully when it was first being switched on, something I still remember to this day (I'll never forget the sound of a dial up modem).

Criminals don't need to break into your house or into a bank safe to steal millions of dollars when they can attack your machine and steal all of your cryptocurrency without you even knowing it is happening. I can see these attacks continuing and evolving as the cyber criminals get smarter and adapt to users' securing their crypto.

I see this as a warning: 1189% isn't something to be thinking 'oh well, it'll never happen to me'. It's a number that you should be worried about, and acknowledging.

Be safe with your network/PC security and your crypto!


Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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