Crypto Mining Attacks Have Increased FourFold In the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META)

A study conducted by Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cyber-security company, revealed that illegal crypto mining activities have become more extensive in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

The Kaspersky statistics showed that crypto mining attacks in 2018 surged almost four times the number last year, rising from 3.5 million to 13 million, with some of the attacks directed at financial institutions.

According to the findings, the regions dubbed “META” experienced about half a million banking malware attacks this year, which translates to a 17 percent spike from the previous year.

Crypto attacks have become a major cyber threat in the META region, and the trend is likely to continue as cryptocurrencies gain massive adoption. Hackers can develop “special” software to gain access to people’s computer for mining operations to produce cryptocurrencies without the knowledge of the victims.

According to Kaspersky, crypto exchanges and traders faced higher risks due to their weak security systems, especially since cybercriminals are now attracted to cryptocurrencies.

Kaspersky 2019 Predictions

Kaspersky believes that cyber criminals will likely focus on stealing biometric data next year because an increasing number of banks are gradually implementing biometric systems for users’ authentication and identification. Some hackers have already been able to steal several biometric data with special techniques. So the trend will only become more popular in 2019.

The cybersecurity firm further predicted that there would be mobile banking attacks on users as mobile applications for business continues to gain popularity.

Predicting on cryptocurrencies, Kaspersky foresees a decline in the rate of cryptocurrencies being used as a medium of exchange once the blockchain hype dies down.

The report stated that,

In the end, this trend will be driven by people rather than the technology’s capability, as organisations and industries come to the conclusion that blockchain has a rather narrow scope of application, and most attempts to use it in different ways are not justified. The reliable application of blockchain beyond cryptocurrency has been explored and experimented with for years but there is little evidence of achievement. 2019 will be the year people stop trying. 

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