Cryptojacking has grown from a nuisance to a threat, with over 2.9 million instances recorded in Q1 2018. For financial services firms, the ability of a hacker to not only infiltrate corporate servers but to stay there for long periods of time, and send data outwards, is a serious security breach. Capital markets should recognize this attack and take active steps to guard against it.
The Internet of Things (IoT) presents new opportunities for cryptojacking. Most consumers do not think about securing the processing power of their toaster or refrigerator. While individually the CPUs of these devices are small, current growth patterns suggest that collectively, a takeover of millions of IoT devices is both practical and could yield substantial rewards for hackers.
While the illegal takeover of a user’s CPU is unwelcome, the technology has an upside: the authorized borrowing of computational power allows visitors to benefit from online content and pay using a barter system of CPUs for services.
This report has been written for generalist financial services practitioners to understand the dimensions of this new cryptojacking challenge.
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