The crypto industry has become a trillion-dollar company, and this has been attracting the attention of many investors. More traders/investors are entering the crypto sector, intending to make as much money as possible. However, investors aren't the only entities interested in profiting from the crypto industry. The success of the crypto market has also attracted hackers that try different means to get their hands on people's cryptocurrencies.
Crypto hacks have become a major cause for concern, and many occurrences have seen crypto users and exchanges being defrauded of their hard-earned money. Some of the crypto hacks that happen in the industry run into hundreds of millions.
Ryan Montgomery, an ‘ethical hacker’ in a show, shares how he used the knowledge he gained from infiltrating websites hosting child exploitation and exposing the predators to mine cryptocurrencies. Employing a method called crypto-jacking, Montgomery, in an episode of the Shawn Ryan Show hosted by former United States Navy Seal and CIA contractor Shawn Ryan shared how he connected to multiple computers owned by other people to mine cryptocurrencies.
Connecting to other Computers to Mine Crypto
Montgomery, in the show, shared how he could connect different computers and then manipulate them to mine cryptocurrencies. The hacker said his first step to mining cryptocurrencies from other computers was to infect them. Once these computers were infected with his malware, he could "control your keyboard, your mouse, look at your screen, do anything I want without you knowing that I’m there." However, Montgomery said instead of taking control of someone's computer and stealing their personal information, he only used them to mine cryptocurrencies for his own use.
He said he started by mining Bitcoin before he moved to other cryptocurrencies. " At that time, it was just Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC). I had quite a bit of infected computers mining at all times. The thing that I did that was, if you could say ‘nice,’ was that when the computer was idle, it would use 100% of the processor and the graphics card to mine the coins. And when the computer was in use, it would only use 20%," Montgomery said in the show.
When this ethical hacker was asked the number of computers he infected with his malware, he said they ran tens of thousands.
Increasing Rate of Cryptojacking
According to a report titled ‘2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report’ by cybersecurity firm SonicWall, the rate at which crypto jacking occurs has increased by an astronomical figure. Cryptojacking is a way of mining cryptocurrencies by hacking into the device of other people. When they hack into the device of unsuspecting users, it is used for mining different cryptocurrencies.
As of the first quarter of 2022, the report said the volume of cryptojacking increased to 66.7 million. "Despite a precipitous drop in the price of cryptocurrency, global crypto jacking volume rose to 66.7 million in the first half of 2022, up 30% over the first half of 2021.
The number of attacks on the finance industry is five times greater than the second highest industry — retail, which used to be at the very bottom of the list," the report said. Currently, the ethical hacker Montgomery says that he has stopped hacking into people's computers to mine crypto.