The shuttering of the Coinhive mining operation in March 2019 dealt a devasting blow to the nefarious cryptojacking racket that abused the service.
Coinhive was not inherently malicious; it was an alternative method for websites to earn revenue instead of showing advertisements. Coinhive-enabled websites allocated a small portion of visitors’ processing power to legitimately mine cryptocurrency.
Unfortunately, attackers misused this technology by infecting a large number of
websites with Coinhive scripts and used the processing power of unsuspecting victims to mine cryptocurrency for themselves (without users’ knowledge). The cryptocurrency of choice was usually Monero.
While the ebb and flow of cryptocurrency prices didn’t help encourage authors to write new cryptojacking malware, the loss of Coinhive was too much for the malicious movement to overcome.
In fact, bitcoin even made a surge halfway through 2019 to help cryptojacking stay
relevant as a lucrative option for cybercriminals.
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Blog content for the Sonic Wall Cyber Threat Report series provided by our partners at SonicWall.