What is cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking is a type of cybercrime, which is the unauthorized use of devices including computers, mobile phones, and tablets by cybercriminals to mine cryptocurrency. Like other cybercrimes, the motive is to make money, but it does not threaten the victim because it is designed to stay completely hidden.

How Cryptojacking Works

Mining cryptocurrency is very costly, it requires lots of computer hardware and electrical power. The whole process consumes a lot of energy. By cryptojacking, hackers can benefit from the coins mined in the process and save the expensive cost of energy and hardware maintenance.

But how does it happen?

A remote attacker installs a script on a computer, phone, or cloud server. In most cases, it happens through phishing emails that trick users into clicking on a malicious link. The link runs code that installs the cryptomining script on the computer. The script runs in the background when the victim works. Hackers also inject a script on a website or an online ad, and once the victim visits the website or the infected ad pops in their browsers, the script executes automatically. If you suddenly experience an exceptionally low speed on your computer or have lags in execution, monitor your CPU usage to detect the malicious processes that could be cryptojacking signals.

How to Detect

  • Notice decreases in performance of the device, or lag in execution
  • Stay updated about the latest news related to cryptojacking in case new techniques pop up
  • Keep a check of your device overheating
  • Keep a check of system monitor as you visit different websites
  • Utilize antivirus and anti-malware software

How to Prevent Cryptojacking 

Although it is not easy to detect when your computer or mobile device has been compromised by a cryptojacking attack, there are some preventive steps that you can take to protect your devices:

Awareness and training

To prevent cryptojacking through phishing, it is important to create awareness of cryptojacking attacks. Also, employees should be trained to detect malicious emails and links that would install malware on their machines.

Use Ad-Blockers

We see ads everywhere, and most of them are completely harmless, but we are not sure how safe every catch ad is. Web ads are the easiest way that is used to embed a cryptojacking script. To prevent fraudulent or fake ads, install ad-blocking extensions that can both detect and block hidden cryptomining scripts.

Disable JavaScript

Disabling JavaScript while browsing online can stop cryptojacking code from infecting your computer and other devices. But disabling JavaScript will also block other functions that you need when browsing.

Perform Regular Malware and Spyware Scans

Running regular malware and spyware scans on your devices can protect them from malicious attacks and remove any hidden cryptojacking scripts.

Use Anti-Cryptomining Extensions

Cryptojacking scripts are often installed in web browsers. Use browser extensions to block cryptominers from accessing your devices.

You cannot completely stop cryptojacking attacks, but you can take measures to protect yourself and your devices. Use the tips and guidelines mentioned in this article to be aware of cryptojacking threats.

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