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Cryptojacking, Explained

Cryptojacking, Explained


What is Cryptojacking?

Also known as malicious cryptomining, cryptojacking is a form of online threat that hides on a computer or mobile device and uses the machine’s resources to mine cryptocurrencies. The threat can suspiciously, and mysteriously bug your devices, be it desktops and laptops, to smartphones and even network servers.

Like most other malicious attacks online, the motive is profit. However, unlike many threats, it is designed to stay completely hidden from the user. Instead of building a dedicated cryptomining computer legally, hackers proceed with cryptojacking to steal computing resources from victims’ devices.

If you are a victim of cryptojacking, you may not notice. But you may notice certain red flags by the slowing down of processes, the increase of your electricity bills, and the shortened life of your devices. So, for miners out there, be very wary on the signs.

How Does it Work?

For someone or a group of people with limited resources and questionable morals, cryptojacking is an effective, inexpensive way to mine valuable coins. But does it legal and morally accepted? No. Nevertheless, let us look at how exactly does cryptojacking work.

The Classic Move

Similar to classic malicious attack, one approach for cryptojackers to gain access to mine cryptocurrency with almost zero fees is to provide victims, or potential victims a malicious link in an email and it loads cryptomining code directly onto the devices. Once the device is infected, cryptojackers will start working on the gains without your knowing.

The Drive-By

Another approach of cryptojacking is the drive-by, also known as web-based cryptojacking. This approach involves embedding a piece of JavaScript code into a Web page. Once embedded, cryptojackers will perform cryptocurrency mining on users’ machines that visited the infected page without their knowledge.

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How to Prevent?

First and foremost, pay attention to your device performance and CPU activity. Find the symptoms of having malicious attacks on your devices and be sure that they are not happening to you. However, prevention is better than cure, thus, installing web browsers extensions, such as MinerBlock, NoCoin, and Adblocker as well as be cautious with email attachments and links might save you from all the trouble.

In addition to that, big enterprises and organizations are advised to train employees on cryptojacking and malware, to ensure the firm is prepared shall technical solutions such as firewall, ad-blockers and web extensions failed.

Online malicious threats, cryptojacking, phishing and hacks will continue to happen whether we like it or not, thus, it is better to take extra measures in securing your resources and assets before they fall in the hands of irresponsible people.

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