SonicWall’s mid-year update to its 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report is creating some serious buzz – especially when it comes to cryptocurrency. The data reveals that global cryptojacking volumes increased by 66.7 million hits in the first half of 2022 – representing a 30% increase when compared to its 2021 levels over the same period.
In cryptojacking attacks, criminals use malware to gain access to computer networks. They then use the system’s computing power to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin — a process that typically requires investing in costly state-of-the-art equipment and consumes vast amounts of electricity. The victim is often unaware of the intrusion.
Today, SonicWall CEO and President Bill Conner was interviewed by Coin Desk TV to discuss the meteoric rise of this criminal act.
“We are seeing a major shift as cybercriminals are using cryptojacking as a means to an end,” explained Conner. “Bad guys are getting into servers, computers, and laptops to take over the compute engine and run in the background to mine for crypto. The financial sector has been hit the hardest over the last six months, and I don’t anticipate that to slow down any time soon.”
Cryptojacking cases across the financial sector rose 269% in the first half of 2022 – that’s five times higher than attacks on retail. SonicWall registered record growth in total cryptojacking volume but unevenly distributed across 2022. In January this year, the metric stood at 18.4 million hits, a new all-time high surpassing previous record levels, taking the total Q1 attacks to 45.1 million.
As criminals continue to have success leveraging compute power to mine for crypto currency, you can expect the problem to increase.
“I think as the economy gets a little shaky, you will see cryptojacking and other malicious cyber activities increase – especially the second half of the year,” said Conner. “It’s really important to segment your networks to protect your data and valuable business assets.”
To learn more about the trends of cryptojacking, ransomware, malware and other cyber threats download the mid-year update to the 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report now.