Have you ever heard of PowerGhost, a stealthy malware that can avoid detection in a number of ways? Or Graboid, a cryptojacking botnet with self-spreading capabilities? Are you aware of the dangers of cryptojacking? Are you even certain about what “cryptojacking” really is?
Well, to put it simply, cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of an electronic communication device such as computers, tablets, and mobile phones by cybercriminals to mine for cryptocurrency. With minimal effort, these cyber criminals get away with tokens while their victims bear the painful cost.
Just In: Cryptojacking is A Hit!
Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report revealed that cryptojacking started to gain popularity in 2017. But, why? At the time, people are starting to appreciate the value of cryptocurrency, making it a must-have. On the other hand, crypto mining is more complex than it sounds. One needs a massive energy source and not to mention, the expensive equipment.
Coin mining requires dedication, effort and most of all, funds. Investing in expensive electricity bills and state of the art computer equipments are key in coin mining. Not to mention, one needs multiple computer devices to mine coins faster making this a probable cause to why cryptojacking is so attractive to cybercriminals.
Show Me How it Happened
Shockingly, cryptojacking doesn’t even require significant technical skills. According to Nadeau, cryptojacking kits are available on the dark web for the price of only $30. Let’s look at some methods at how cybercriminals commit their crimes:
Clicking on links from a random harmless email may seem dangerous after all. Once clicked, a code downloads the crypto mining script on the computer and works in the background without anyone’s knowledge.
Be cautious when visiting suspicious websites! When malicious ads pop up in the victim’s browser, the script automatically executes – without the need to store code on the victim’s computer.
Using both of these methods, the codes are able to run complex mathematical problems on the victims’ computers and send the results to a server that the hacker controls.
Be On The Lookout
It is difficult to detect whether you are a victim to this crime, however, it is plausible. Below are the symptoms of cryptojacking:
- Device overheating
- Sluggish or unusual slow response times
- High processor usage on device
You Shall Not Pass!
Now that you are aware of the dangers of cryptojacking, upgrade your device’s security and be extra careful. Let’s look at some of the ways that can protect your devices:
- Use Anti-Cryptomining Extensions on browser extensions
- Use Ad-Blockers to detect and block malicious cryptomining code