The security vendor claimed that the number of crypto mining malware samples grew 629 percent to 2.9 million in Q1 this year, before growing a further 86 percent in Q2.
Raj Samani, chief scientist at McAfee, said: “Cybercrime is a business; and market forces, such as the rise in cryptocurrency values, will continue to shape where adversaries focus their efforts. Exploiting crypto mining malware is simpler, more straightforward, and less risky than traditional cybercrime activities – causing these schemes to skyrocket in popularity over the last few months. Crypto mining malware has quickly emerged as a major player on the threat landscape.”
He said businesses must find the right combination of people, process and technology to effectively protect their assets, detect crypto mining threats and when targeted, rapidly correct systems – across both cloud and on-premise.
McAfee said that this form of malware predominately targets PCs, but new strains have started to target Android smartphones and other internet-connected devices.
The vendor also claims that the success of the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks has seen an increase in malware targeting software exploits, with new samples of these increasing 151 percent in Q2.