Crypto Mining Attacks Dropped in 2019 but Ransomware on the Rise: Kaspersky

Michael LaVere
  • New report by security firm Kaspersky found crypto-mining attacks declined in 2019.
  • Attackers have moved on to more lucrative methods, including the use of ransomware. 

A new report by security firm Kaspersky shows that cryptocurrency mining attacks fell sharply during 2019 but that ransomware involving crypto is on the rise. 

According to the “Kaspersky Security Bulletin ‘19” report, the total number of mining malware infections fell drastically in 2019. While the overall number of “unique malicious objects” reported by Kaspersky rose 13.7% on the year, mostly related to web-skimmer files designed for stealing credit cards,  web-miner infections declined 59% from 5.638 million infected machines to 2.259 million. 

However, certain crypto-mining malware scripts still made the top 20 list of threats, particularly applications that force a users’ computer to mine cryptocurrency in the background. 

Kaspersky security analyst Denis Parinov said, 

We have observed that the number of 'common' attacks against home users is slightly decreasing, but that the number of 'loud' public cases of crypto-ransomware infections is growing – for example, just two days ago New Orleans was hit by a ransomware.

Parinov believes hackers previously involved in mining have moved on to more lucrative opportunities, including the use of crypto-based ransomware. 

Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, Kaspersky’s head of anti-malware research, added, 

[Mining attacks] have lost their popularity due to lower profitability and cryptocurrencies’ fight against covert mining.

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Bitcoin Moderately Correlated With S&P 500 in Q1--Report

Michael LaVere
  • A new report from Binance Research shows bitcoin held a moderately positive correlation with the S&P 500 in Q1 2020.
  • Bitcoin held a null relationship with gold, as the latter experienced an 8 percent price increase. 

A new report from the research division of Binance claims bitcoin’s performance was moderately correlated with the S&P 500 during the first quarter of the year. 

According to the Binance Research report published April 1, bitcoin showed a moderate positive correlation with US equity indexes during Q1 2020 and zero correlation with gold. 

Despite suffering its worst intraday losses on Mar. 12, bitcoin prices faired better than the traditional markets impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The report reads, 

Due to the pandemic and the global economic turmoil, all asset prices were down in the first quarter of 2020. Over the first quarter of 2020, Bitcoin price was down by -10%, while the S&P500 displayed a -19% return. Their correlation was relatively high (0.57), which is explained by a similar pattern in daily business day returns.

Gold displayed a null relationship with bitcoin, ending the first quarter up 8% with the majority of gains coming in the final weeks of March. 

Crude oil prices suffered the worse, falling 66% as a result of downward price pressure and a failure by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to respond appropriately to the crisis. 

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