According to Malwarebytes, an American internet security company that specializes in protecting computers from malware, cryptojacking is a “scheme to use people’s devices, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, or even servers, without their consent or knowledge, to secretly mine cryptocurrencies on the victim’s dime.”
Why is Cryptojacking bad?
The main reason why this phenomenon occurs is due to the cost of mining cryptocurrencies. Because it takes so much computational power and electricity to mine Bitcoin, the only ones who are able to undertake this endeavor are individuals or entities with significant resources and capital. Since most do not, the idea then became, “why not hack into ordinary computers and tap into their collective computing power while leaving the electrical bill to be paid by the owners.” This phenomenon became known as cryptojacking.
How to detect and prevent Cryptojacking?
Now knowing how attacks are initiated, what are the ways to detecting these attacks. First, one can check the code of a website, but realistically speaking, that is impractical. The main way to detect is that users who are cryptojacked typically see their devices being drained quicker than normal, overheated, or experience a sudden reduction in battery life. Of course, as these are normal symptoms experienced by all computer users, they are not the best sign to go by. In the end, protective measures should be taken.
Steps to prevent cryptojacking
For example, here are some protective steps individuals can take:
- Use mining blockers
- Use specific script blockers like NoScript or uBlock
- Consider moving to a more privacy-centric browser such as Brave
As one can already imagine, a large concern for businesses in relation to cryptojacking is that cryptohackers will target their websites because they receive a lot of traffic. Therefore, businesses will need to take a proactive stance to protect themselves.
Cryptojacking is the hacking of personal computers in order to draw upon their collective resources to mine cryptocurrencies. The extent of its reach is unknown, but it easily has the potential to infect many personal CPUs. Therefore, when it comes to cybersecurity, ordinary individuals and businesses can never be too prepared.