Cryptojacking: Signs and how to prevent it

Cryptojacking Signs and how to prevent it

What is Cryptojacking?

From the word – Cryptojacking, you should know that it has to do with cryptocurrency. Hence, Cryptojacking is the unauthorized usage of a computer to mine cryptocurrencies. Hackers do this by imposing a malicious link in an email for you to click on. Or still, they corrupt an online Ad or websites with JavaScript code that carries out the execution once loaded.

Businesses and Individuals have raised awareness about this illegal act.

2017 had a lot of disastrous loss for some organizations. In 2018, Cryptojacking had gone through rapid growth and affected a large number of businesses. Possibly being skeptical about this, why is Cryptojacking growing?

Why is Cryptojacking growing?

No one has the certainty to state how much cryptocurrency has been mined through Cryptojacking, but it is no new thing that the practice is rampant. There have been reports flowing around from popular tech companies, discussing and making an analysis of some Cryptojacking activities. Reports have shown us how cybercriminals carry out this act, browser-based Cryptojacking grew at first but now have less usage.

In November 2017, An advanced AdBlock company, Adguard, made an analysis of a thirty-one percent increment of Cryptojacking. Findings were done, and they observed 33,000 websites running crypto-mining scripts. Adguard further stated that these websites had billions of monthly visitors.

Bad Packets Report had in February 2018, reported 34,474 sites running Coinhive, a popular JavaScript miner. Coinhive is more like a two-sided coin, as it is also used legitimately for crypto mining activities. Last year, Check Point Software Technologies reported that four of the top ten malware are crypto miners, including Coinhive and Cryptoloot.

As said by New Gold Rush, cryptocurrencies are the new frontier of fraud, from Digital Shadows – Cryptojacking doesn’t even necessarily need technical skills. The report further disclosed that the kits needed are gotten on the dark web for as low as $30.

The reason why Cryptojacking is becoming more popular is that hackers get more money for fewer risks. They see Cryptojacking as a cheaper alternative to ransomware. The risk involved is also less detectable than that of ransomware, as reported by Alex Vaystikh, CTO, and co-founder of SecBI.

How does Cryptojacking work?

Hackers do have two significant techniques they use for Cryptojacking. The first involves encouraging you to load crypto mining code into your device by clicking on an email link. Once the link is clicked, the system executes and runs the crypto mining script in the background.

The other method is to impose the code on websites or ads distributed to various websites. The code then executes once clicked on.

One thing about Cryptojacking is that it’s hard to trace back and can even run for long periods before it is detected. Whichever method is adopted, the code runs a complex mathematical problem that sends your activities and data to a server controlled by the hacker. Unlike most types of malware, Cryptojacking does not damage the victim’s computer. It steals CPU processing resources. Organizations with jacked systems can incur real problems when it comes to tracking down performance and replacing components with the hope of fixing the issue.

Signs of Cryptojacking

Here are a few things that act as symptoms of Cryptojacking:

  • Slow performance

If your computer is performing slower over time, especially after seeing something strange, know that you may have been infected.

  • Crashing

Crashing does not necessarily mean that your device has been Cryptojacked. When a computer crashes repeated(especially when doing intensive activities that ought to be done without an issue), then something calls for an alarm.

  • Overheating

Just by touch, you can know if your computer is heating up. However, you should download a useful tool that discloses your computer’s temperature.

  • Faster battery drainage

Usually, when a battery drains faster than the manufacturer’s guidelines, it might be infected from Cryptojacking.

How to prevent Cryptojacking

Malware scanners can be used to detect a Cryptojacking script running on your device. However, it is not as effective and can only trace a few scenarios. When working with an organization, you know the symptoms of Cryptojacking and alarm the IT department upon any observation.

Of course, the standard way to go about this is by having a professional examine your computer. But it’s not the only way to know if your computer has been infected, examinations could even point to other problems. Most importantly, you should contact a repairer upon seeing any sign. In the meantime, here are methods of preventing Cryptojacking:

Solution 1: Avoid email malware

Since one of the common ways miners do this is by injecting a spoofed email sent to you, be careful when downloading email malware. Do not click on a strange email link. If you don’t trust it, you must have 100% certainty before clicking on any. If at all you need to make confirmations, go directly to the source. For example, if you receive an email from your bank, open a new page, and type in the bank’s official URL.

Solution 2: Use a reliable antivirus

Not all antivirus can detect a crypto mining script; hackers look for means to make their patronage less detectable. A reliable antivirus still plays its part by reducing Cryptojacking activities.

Solution 3: Install an Anti-Cryptominer or Ad-block

Another way of prevention is to install a useful AdBlock extension in your browser. Hence, it will help to block ads, and for this reason, hackers get restricted from imposing any corrupted file on your computer. There are some ad blockers with Cryptojacking detection capabilities, make sure you carefully select one, as hackers can bundle up with one.

Solution 4: Use a reliable VPN

Using a good VPN is also one of the effective tactics against Cryptojacking. It encrypts your traffic and prevents hackers from injecting any script into your computer. Cryptojacking may not be deadly, but its code crawls into your device and steals information that you can easily keep private with a VPN.

There are many VPNs out there, among the best is RitaVPN. Concerning privacy, it is one of the best VPN service providers when it comes to stealth online activity. Also, this best VPN comes with a user-friendly interface which makes it easy for beginners to set up and utilize.

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