Cryptojacking is a hot new way to commit a crime and to make money using your hardware. The website you open in your browser can maximize your CPU in cryptocurrency, and encrypting malware is becoming more common.

What is Cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking is an attack in which an attacker runs software to crash cryptocurrency on your hardware without your permission. An attacker keeps cryptocurrency and sells it for profit, and you get stuck with high CPU consumption and a hefty electricity bill.

While Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency, crypto-attack attacks usually involve mining other cryptocurrencies. Monero is particularly common because it is designed so that people can process it on average computers. Monero also has anonymity features, which means it’s hard to keep track of where an attacker ends up sending Monero that they handle on their victims’ hardware. Monero is “altcoin,” meaning non-Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Many cryptocurrency software is designed to be subtle, so users don’t notice that something is wrong. After all, it’s not like we have a habit of constantly checking system performance and examining processes in our taskbar. Instead, if our devices run slower than usual, we blame the latest software update or point to dozens of tabs opened in our browser. And if our cooling fan turns on more often than before, we assume that our device needs to be improved or serviced.

But these are probably subtle signs that indicate the presence of cryptocurrency software.

How can cryptojacking make its way onto your computer? 

The most common ways are: 

Many cryptocurrency software is designed to be subtle, so users don’t notice that something is wrong. After all, it’s not like we have a habit of constantly checking system performance and examining processes in our taskbar. Instead, if our devices run slower than usual, we blame the latest software update or point to dozens of tabs opened in our browser. And if our cooling fan turns on more often than before, we assume that our device needs to be improved or serviced.

But these are probably subtle signs that indicate the presence of cryptocurrency software.

  1. Malware – receiving an Email, installing an app, and tricking you without you ever knowing
  2. Websites and browsers- where websites take advantage of their users 

How does cryptojacking affect your company?

If threats of cryptojacking attack your work computer – that can cause you a lot of trouble. 

  1. Consumption of resources – significant increase in company’s energy bill because cryptojacking will use all of the computers as often as they can
  2. Technical problems – if cryptojacking attacks your company’s IT system, your company will start losing money on tech support and begin to buy new computers.
  3. Your company’s cybersecurity – stealing data might not be a criminal’s priority, but again they can get onto your company’s computers. Cybercrooks might not be directly attacking your bank account, but they are stealing your time and electricity. According to a recent study, 15,000 hacked devices mining together can make $1,000 worth of cryptocurrency over just four days.

How to avoid cryptojacking?

Here are some tips to prevent cryptojacking:

The first thing that you can do is to clean up your browser histories. This might be a little tougher, as it requires some coordination. You should also try and clean up any browser pages that are not being actively used.

Scanning for viruses is another thing that should be done if you suspect that your system has been attacked. Before scanning, you should make sure that your antivirus program is updated. It would be best if you mainly focused on keeping Windows and third-party applications up to date, especially web browsers, to keep vulnerabilities that can be exploited to a minimum.

  1. Analyze your resources to make sure there is no unusual activity
  2. Processor overheating – if you notice that the computer’s processor is overheating. 
  3. Be careful with browsing and installing plugins to block these sites.

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