Cybercriminals are now resorting to alternative money making methods like formjacking as returns from ransom ware and cryptojacking are diminishing, the latest Symantec Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) says.
The report cites two reasons for cyber thieves’ waning interest in the looting of cryptocurrency: Declining value of cryptocurrencies and increasing adoption of cloud and mobile computing that effectively thwarted such attacks.
With a 90 percent plunge in the value of cryptocurrencies, cryptojacking fell 52 percent in 2018, the Internet security provider estimates. Yet, cryptojacking remains popular due to a low barrier of entry and minimal overhead.
Symantec claims to have blocked four times as many cryptojacking attacks in 2018 compared to the previous year.
For the first time since 2013, ransom ware infections declined, down 20 percent overall, but attacks targeting enterprises increased by 12 percent.
Symantec’s 2019 Internet Security Threat Report shares the latest insights into global threat activity, cyber criminal trends, and attacker motivations.
The latest alternative method that cyber criminals are successfully executing to siphon off funds is form jacking, which is said to be simple and lucrative.
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Under this method, cyber criminals load malicious code onto retailers’ websites to steal shoppers’ credit card details. More than 4,800 unique websites are being compromised on average every month, according to the report.
Both well-known corporates such as Ticketmaster and British Airways, and small-medium businesses were attacked last year, yielding tens of millions of dollars.
All it takes is 10 stolen credit cards per compromised website to loot up to $2.2 million per month, as each card fetches up to $45 in underground selling forums.
With more than 380,000 credit cards stolen, the attack on British Airways alone may have netted criminals more than $17 million, Symantec Internet security experts estimate.