UK businesses bombarded with crypto-mining attacks

Cyber-attacks looking at stealing cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin are becoming a major threat for British businesses, a new report has claimed.

Research from Citrix has revealed that a third of UK firms have been hit by such crypto-mining attacks within the last month as the threat grows in scale.

The rise in attacks is most likely due to the rapid rise in value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which has skyrocketed in price in recent months.

Citrix found that half of large UK businesses are stockpiling cryptocurrencies, primarily to act as a fallback and provide a quick means of payment should they be subjected to a ransomware attack.

However this is actually making them more of a target for criminals, with 59 percent of businesses saying they had detected cryptomining attacks on their systems at some point.

Crypto-mining threat

Four in five (80 percent) of attacks had occured during the last six months - yet only two thirds (67 percent) of businesses admitted to having formal policies in place should they be hit.

“The threat of a ransomware attack is still very real for large businesses," said Chris Mayers, chief security architect, Citrix. 

“Centralising data storage and management should form a key part of such plans, ensuring organisations keep their customer data and critical IP far from devices and end-points with possible vulnerabilities. This gives cyber-attackers fewer opportunities to gain leverage and demand ransoms – saving businesses from costly expenses, as well as supporting with long-term compliance for regulations such as the GDPR.”

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.