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A big change in the recent cybersecurity landscape is coin mining software. Coin minding software is software that mines cryptocurrency, such as Monero, Bitcoin, or Ethereum. This is a big change because in the past it was difficult for an attacker to monetize an intrusion. Coin mining software makes monetizing intrusions straightforward. An attacker who successfully deploys coin mining software on a target organization’s information system just has to sit back and wait for the cryptocurrency to start rolling in.

In the past, amateurs may have been motivated to learn how to attack information systems by a variety of factors including curiosity. With the current mania around cryptocurrencies and the promise that it may be possible to earn such currency by running freely available exploit tools, it’s not unreasonable to assume that amateurs will be even more motivated to attack information systems in the hope of generating income.

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