Cryptojacking – What Is This Cyber Security Trend?

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    Beware of cryptojacking, one of the largest cyber threats in the cryptocurrency scene and possibly the world. Cryptojacking is the process of mining cryptocurrency with another person’s computer (hardware) without their permission. The worst part about it is that in most case it doesn’t even require the owner themselves to install a program for the infection to occur; this is called in-browser cryptojacking. Cryptojacking is increasingly becoming a parasite in the cryptocurrency world. And whether you a crypto-fanatic whose been in the game for a minute or if you are a  newbie you are still a target; therefore you need to equip yourself. Read on to know how!

    How does crypto-jacking work?

    As the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. And in this case, there are several ways in which cryptojacking can occur. Some of these methods include ;

    In-browser cryptojacking (JavaScript mining)

    This type of cryptojacking takes place when you connect to a website that has crypto-mining javascript. Javascript runs on the majority of the sites you visit. Therefore the code does not require a user to install it. While linked to the particular website, the mining script will begin to use the resources from your machine to start mining cryptocurrency. And as long as you stay on that website, the mining script will continue to operate on your device.

    Endangered and infected servers

    In this method of cryptojacking, the hackers look for the weakest links ‘so to speak’. Therefore they target those machines with weak or no passwords and are very poorly protected. Once the hackers have infected the server, they now use the machines’ resources to begin low-key crypto-mining (cryptojacking). If the owner does not notice what is going on with their device for an extended period; this could mean big bucks for these cybercriminals.

    Local device infection

    In this case, the infection creeps into your device when you visit a site and acquire malware. In can happen merely because you are connected to a compromised website; or when you confirm a download that is not reliable or verified. So without intending to, you have downloaded an infection that will start mining crypto until that malware has been uninstalled. However, there is also what is called drive-by download; this is whereby a site secretly downloads bad software on to your computer/device, installs itself and starts the cryptojacking just like that.

    How can you tell if you are crypto jacked?

    One should always stay aware of the red flags that indicate cryptojacking to be able to prevent it. Here are some basic indicators ;

    CPU power usage

    You should keep track of the activities of your CPU if there is any cryptojacking taking place, the increase in power usage will be quite obvious. As a result of this, your device will overheat and therefore decreasing its life span.

    Overheating

    As mentioned above, overheating may occur as a result of increased power usage, so it is very important to notice this as soon as possible to prevent the failure of your CPU.

    The speed of your computer

    If your computer is annoyingly slow, then you may have been crypto jacked.

    Battery drainage

    If hacking occurs on a device or in this case crypto jacking, it often drains the battery faster than usual.

    How to avoid crypto jacking

    Stay away from browser extensions – try to stay away from extensions as often as possible. Majority of these hackers use malicious extensions to implement crypto-mining scripts. If you fail to avoid them completely then make sure that they are up to date.

    One of the other ways to avoid being a victim of cryptojacking is by monitoring your network traffic.

    Also, keep an eye on your configurations – lookout for strange and risky configurations, and therefore ensure that all entry points are password protected.

    You can also switch off the JavaScript option in your browser

    Conclusion

    As long as cryptocurrencies continue to develop, I believe so will crypto jackers. However, if you keep yourself informed you will be safe.

    I hope this article has helped you.

    Good luck!

     

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