What is Cryptojacking? How It May Harm You?

What is Cryptojacking? How It May Harm You?

With the massive success in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency has described its popularity of cryptomining. Certainly, the admiration doesn’t lag with its unpredictability and setting the new records than before. So, let’s learn more about cryptojacking and reasons for its rise!

cryptojacking harm you
Image Source: www.idgconnect.com

What is Cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking is nothing but using someone else’s computer without their knowledge to mine cryptocurrency. It is an illegal way to install a software/program or click on suspicious links to infect the device surreptitiously.

Attackers, don’t need to install the programs all the time, they can infect the computer just by using crypto mining code on the machine. If the user visits any suspicious websites and clicks on targeted ads with JavaScript code, it can automatically infect the browser.

Why Cryptojacking Continues to Rise?

Cryptojacking is gaining popularity every day because of its easy money-making process with lesser risk. Moreover, it does not require any extraordinary and significant technical skills. The most common understanding about cryptojacking is that the hackers use an untraceable resource to generate an alternative revenue stream for media websites and games, and decrease reliance on ads. They implement a JavaScript on the websites that can easily inspire online user’s device to mine cryptocurrency. It clearly indicates that hackers can easily make more money with minimal risk.

According to Alex Vaystikh, CTO, and co-founder of SecBI, as compared to Ransomware and other malware, cryptojacking is much easier and profitable alternative for hackers. When attackers target 100 computers with ransomware only three out of hundred pay the ransom whereas Crypto Jackers target all the 100 infected computers to mine cryptocurrency.

On 21st November 2017, one of the well-recognized website “Adguard” reported that cryptojacking has gained a 31% hike in-browser mining in last few months. According to the company’s research around 33,000 websites are running crypto mining scripts especially those websites which have gained billion of monthly users.

In fact, according to the “Bad Packets Report”, there are total 34,474 websites running Coinhive and the maximum of these websites are running on JavaScript miner, which is used as the legit activity of crypto mining.

So, the bottom line is, there is no major peril and chances are very less to get caught as compared to ransomware. Moreover, one of the best reasons that hackers prefer crypto mining is because it runs on the mining codes secretly that can be concealed for a longer period.

Know More: Chrome: Secret Crypto Jacker!

How Does Cryptojacking Work?

Generally, it starts when the user downloads and installs an infected program, software or clicks on any suspicious links that he/she might have received from unknown sources. These programs run surreptitiously to mine cryptocurrency. The hackers use JavaScript on a web for in-browser cryptojacking to mine digital cash. Well, JavaScript is used by most of the websites and the most significant reason is that its code doesn’t need to be installed for in-browser mining.

The worst part is, there is no way to directly find out whether attackers have hijacked your computer for digital revenue gain. cryptojacking doesn’t hamper the performance of your machine so you cannot say that the page has been a hidden mining component or not.

How to Avert Cryptojacking Cyberattacks?

As precaution is better than cure, so taking a few steps to prevent crytojacking attackers is one of the best thing you can do. So, here are some of the tips you can use to do the same.

  • Use Anti-Crypto Mining and Ad-Blocking Extension In Your Browsers

As, most of the time cryptojacking scripts are entered to your machine through the web so using the anti- Crypto Mining tool is an effective way to prevent them from entering into your device. Don’t you think? There are a lot of remarkable tools available that can easily detect the mining script and alert you about your device’s condition. In fact, you can use recommended extensions to add an extra layer of security to your device.  MinerBlock and No Coin are some of the recommendations from Laliberte.

  • Think Twice Before Using Your Browser Extensions

It is another way that has been used by hackers to infect your computer by providing the spiteful and poisoning legitimate extensions, which can easily perform crypto mining scripts without your knowledge.

  • Update Your Web Filtering Programs Regularly

A web filter is a program that is capable of screening out a certain amount of malware and incoming connections. So, if you’re suspicious of the website or page that provides cryptojacking scripts, then you need to inform the vendor/customers to block it at the same time.

How to Respond to the Attack?

Follow the below instructions to deal with Cryptojacking attacks:

  • Update and Remove Unwanted Browser Extensions

Please keep in mind whenever the extension is infected and the infection is transferred to the browser then closing the tab is not going to make any sense. You will have to remove the infected extension and browser and update the rest of extensions.

  • Block Your Website Scripts

It is highly recommended to remove and block the websites delivered scripts. In-browser JavaScript targets whenever you notice the cryptomining, you need to get rid of the browser tab by running the script. You can also install a good anti-crypto mining software to avoid such incidents.

So, the bottom line is, cryptojacking is a new form of malware that is unethical and uses your computer to mine cryptocurrency without your knowledge.  Indeed, this is the time for users to pull up their socks to prevent their devices from getting infected.

Next ReadHow To Mine Ethereum On Your Laptop

Bhoomika Basera is an analyst and blogger at Systweak Software. She likes to explore and discover latest technological updates and hacks.She is a backpack traveller and loves to explore cities and off beat places!

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