Cybercrime is at an all-time high. Although, the entire tech industry is doubling down on security; efforts have still been ineffective to stop the evil.
One of the many reasons for that is because black hats are becoming more ingenious with their exploitative methods. Crypto jacking is one such example of their cunning minds. We can describe it as the unauthorised use of someone’s hardware to mine cryptocurrency. In simpler terms, it means that a program hijacks your computer, tablet or mobile phone and use the device to mine Cryptocurrencies. (Nadeau, M. 2018)
How Does It Infect You?
The result is a virus that infects the computer without the victim noticing. Then it works in the background to mine cryptocurrency as the victims keep using their devices normally. The only sign is that their machine will generally run slower and lag a lot more, and their electricity bill might be higher. (Nadeau, M. 2018)
How Does The Hacker Benefit?
In layman terms, a cryptocurrency is a form of money that exists virtually. However, it is valuable in the real world and can be a substitute for real cash. The benefit of cryptocurrency is that mining using your device’s power can virtually earn it. It can also be realistically impossible to find a person that made a transaction through cryptocurrency. Such makes it a perfect solution for hackers. (Nadeau, M. 2018)
It Is On The Rise.
Sadly, Cryptojacking is on the rise especially browser-based ones. Adguard, a renowned adblocker, reported a 31 percent growth rate for browser-based crypto jacking a year ago. It found around 33,000 websites running crypto mining scripts. They estimated that those sites had around a billion combined monthly viewers. (Nadeau, M. 2018)
To avoid becoming a victim and prevent the spread of crypto jacking, follow the following points to remain secure.
What Can Be Done?
- A Good Security Solution Is Your Best Friend.
With the growth in cybercrime, people came up with its solution. To avoid getting infected, install a renowned and trustworthy antivirus. Generally, a good antivirus is updated regularly to identify and fight against such threats. Such will help to detect and block all types of mining attacks along with others. (Nadeau, M. 2018)
- Filtering the Infected Sites.
If you find a website containing crypto jacking tools; it is essential you block users from accessing the site. You can also report it further to ensure that more people don’t get victimized. (Nadeau, M. 2018)
Users also need to be ready beforehand to deal with such type of hacking. They need to maintain their extensions, apps or tools to avoid hackers to execute crypto mining process. (Nadeau, M. 2018)
- Monitor The Network Traffic.
Generally, the virus needs to use the internet for transferring data. By merely monitoring the network traffic, one could detect a suspicious increase in usage. Such can help the person to take counter-measures before they are troubled much. (Nadeau, M. 2018)
- The More Aware One Is, the More Secure They Are.
Awareness about these issues goes a long way to restrict crypto jacking and all other viruses.
Most people are not informed enough to care about viruses. By educating them in some form, they are likely to take better precautions.
With Cybercrime on the rise, it is vital that we all do our part to keep the internet secure. The simple measures we can take such as educating people about such issues. They go a long way to prevent people from getting victimised.
Nadeau, M. (2018, August 29). What is cryptojacking? How to prevent, detect, and recover from it. Retrieved from https://www.csoonline.com/article/3253572/internet/what-is-cryptojacking-how-to-prevent-detect-and-recover-from-it.html
Poremba, S. (2018). What Is Cryptojacking (and How to Avoid This Coin-Mining Malware)? [online] tomsguide. Available at: https://www.tomsguide.com/us/cryptojacking-explained,news-27604.html [Accessed 13 Jul. 2018].
Verma, A. (2018). 7 Easy Ways To Block Cryptocurrency Mining In Your Web Browser. [online] Fossbytes. Available at: https://fossbytes.com/block-cryptocurrency-mining-in-browser/ [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].