There’s news Friday that Microsoft security firm Symantec has found at least eight applications compromised by code that triggers crypto jacking for Monero.
In Cointelegraph today, Marie Huillet reports that Microsoft has removed the offending apps including battery optimization tutorials, web browsers and video tools from its store after learning that the CPU cycle can be hijacked to mine the “dark web cryptocurrency.”
Symantec has reported this as the first cryptojacking case of its kind in the Microsoft realm.
As such, it’s another major note in the coinjacking phenomenon that is changing how people view cryptocurrencies.
Wider crypto coin adoption and other trends will likely lead to more issues with cryptojacking in the years to come – the idea is that unscrupulous minors can simply grab bits of processing power from other users to help fund their mining schemes.
Cryptojacking isn’t the sort of thing that really hits to the heart of crypto stability – it doesn’t seem to directly affect markets that much. But it is an essential security problem that needs to be addressed, and companies like Symantec work hard for their corporate sponsors to understand these issues and deal with them.
Cryptojacking is also getting more attention from the security world at large – Huillet’s column reveals that Kaspersky Lab is calling crypto jacking the biggest cybersecurity threat in many parts of the world, even more rampant than ransomware.
Comparing the two, you can see how it might be more attractive to simply piggyback on devices and steal energy then it is to try to lock down the user’s files and demand ransom. Ransomware operations include certain kinds of liability and stress that cryptojacking doesn’t – some might even say that some cryptojacking procedures are a type of “victimless crime” in comparison – though the general security community does not view it that way!
In any case, Microsoft’s response to cryptojacking concerns provides an interesting picture of how big firms will deal with these issues moving forward in the context of broader blockchain adoption.