What is cryptojacking?
What is cryptojacking?
To understand what cryptojacking is, we must first understand Crypto mining.
Cryptomining is very similar to gold mining in that there are millions of cryptocurrencies like gold, only they are all hidden. What miners need to do is extract them by solving complex algorithms on computers. Once these problems are resolved, the miner will receive an appropriate amount of cryptocurrency.
Cryptomining becomes cryptojacking when this mining is done illegally and without permission. All a cybercriminal has to do to make money from cryptocurrencies is steal CPU power from every user in order to solve algorithms and obtain crypto.
From the above terms we can simply “Cryptojacking is an attack in which attackers run cryptocurrency mining software on your hardware without your permission. These attackers take cryptocurrency and sell it for a profit, but you will have problems with high CPU usage and rapidly increasing electricity bills.“
Although Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, cryptojacking attacks often mine another cryptocurrency. Monero is especially popular because it is designed so that anyone can mine on the average computer.
Who are the victims of cryptojacking?
Any device running the software can be used to mine cryptocurrency. An attacker only needs to trick these devices into running their own cryptocurrency mining software in order to benefit from it.
Drive-by cryptojacking attacks can be carried out on all devices with browsers such as Windows computers, Macs, Linux systems, Chromebooks, Android phones, iPhones or iPads. As long as you open the website with the cryptocurrency mining script embedded in it in the browser, the attacker can use the CPU to mine the cryptocurrency. You lose access as soon as you close the browser tab or leave the page.
Other than that, cryptojacking malware behaves like any other malware. If an attacker exploited a vulnerability or tricked you into installing malware, they could run a cryptocurrency mining script as a background process on your computer, regardless of whether you are using a Windows or Mac computer or Linux. These attackers also attempt to install cryptocurrency mining software into mobile apps, particularly Android apps.
In theory, they could even attack a vulnerable smart home device and install cryptocurrency mining software on it.
In summary, cryptojacking can be done in two different ways:
- One is access web browserwhen the miner pastes the script into the user’s web browser and uses its CPU power to mine coins.
- The second possibility is that cyber criminals bypass the browser and Install a cryptocurrency mining code right on the machine of the user through a sophisticated fake link.
How to recognize cryptojacking attacks
Undetected, such an attack harms your computer, and what is worse if your business is hit by such an attack, it slows performance and increases electricity costs if too much energy is consumed in the process.
How to recognize a cryptojacking attack on your computer or device:
1. Watch out for degradation in computer performance
Cryptomining codes can affect your computer’s performance and even slow down basic functions. Be aware of slow devices or delays in performance.
2. Be careful with overheated equipment
Keep an eye on your computer, laptop or tablet when it gets too hot. Cryptomining scripts use a lot of computer resources, which can cause devices to work harder and overheat.
3. Check CPU utilization
Monitor your computer if any of your applications are abnormally using the CPU. If you find that usage is increasing while visiting websites with little multimedia content, it could be a sign that cryptojacking is taking place. Use the “Task Manager” on the PC for monitoring
4. Test coding changes on your website
Monitor your own web pages to check for changes to files or web pages. Cryptojackers are looking for vulnerable websites where they can embed cryptomining code.
5. Scan regularly for malware
Make sure your security software is up to date and check for malware regularly. Knowing early on that your system has been attacked can be a quick way to plan and prevent cryptojacking on your computers and other devices.
6. Get the latest on cryptojacking
Information about cryptojacking is constantly updated as cyber criminals develop new mining scripts and methods of infecting your computer. Stay up to date on the latest trends and threats by relying on trusted sources.
5 easy ways to prevent cryptojacking
Knowing if and when cryptojacking is happening on your computer is just the beginning – there are several things you can do to prevent malicious mining scripts from running on your computer. Use the following prevention tips to help protect your personal and business devices:
1. Safety training
This first step might not be for those outside of information technology, but it is a top requirement for businesses. So,
Make sure your company’s IT team knows what cryptojacking is and how to spot it early on. Look for different attack vectors and know what to do when there is a threat.
2. Learn about basic security operations
You or your employees should be trained in the relevant safety principles and regulations. Make sure they understand what cryptography is and how it can harm your entire network. As you train, be aware of the risks of opening emails from unknown senders and clicking links and attachments with them.
3. Use browser extensions
Many browsers contain extensions that can prevent cryptographic mining. Browser extensions like MinerBlock and No Coin monitor suspicious activity and block cryptojacking attacks.
4. Install an ad blocker
Ads coming from the website are at risk and may contain embedded scripts from cryptomining. Many ad blockers can filter and block these scripts from running on your computer’s browser.
The last thing to remember and protect yourself from cryptojacking attacks starts with your awareness, from early detection to preventive measures. Follow the instructions above to help protect your computer and other devices from unauthorized activity.