The internet is a global village, and with each passing day, it gets closer than ever before imagined. After the disruption from the pandemic, most businesses have turned to digital marketing as a way to broker their relationship with both existing customers and a wider audience.
Great, right? But what most people fail to tell others is the risk that comes with visibility, especially for an established organization or a sensitive service in its mode of operation.
In today’s post, I will be sharing with you one of the threats that you are susceptible to as an online user called Cryptojacking. Kindly read through to the end, as I can bet you will learn something new.
What is CryptoJacking?
Going by Wikipedia, "Cryptojacking" is the act of hijacking a computer to mine cryptocurrencies against the user's will, through websites, or while the user is unaware. One notable piece of software used for cryptojacking was Coinhive, which was used in over two-thirds of cryptojacks before its March 2019 shutdown.
Cryptojacking is a cybercrime that is also referred to as "malicious crypto mining" that lets hackers mine cryptocurrency without paying for electricity, hardware, and other mining resources.
How does cryptojacking occur?
Devices with cryptojacking malware are usually infected using common phishing techniques. They occur by running into a victim's web browser when they visit a website where they have been embedded. Computer devices, smartphones, servers, and cloud infrastructures are the targets of cryptojackers. They target everyone, from ordinary people to international governments, which means you are not exempt.
According to the annual report from the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), cryptojacking was the third most common cybersecurity threat in 2021. The same year, the Google Cybersecurity Action Team discovered that 86% of the compromised cloud platforms it had come across were the result of cryptojacking.
According to Cisco, malware used for cryptocurrency mining hit 69% of its clients in 2020. This act further signifies the need for adequate data security and extra carefulness when online.
Types of cryptojacking?
Two major types of cryptojacking could come about. It is either they infect the web browser or it is host-based methods.
1. Host-based Cryptojacking
This approach functions similarly to common malware and phishing attempts. Cryptojackers entice victims to click on seemingly innocent websites that download cryptocurrency mining software onto their devices.
All kinds of devices are susceptible to host-based cryptojacking. For instance, apps on the Google Play Store can be used to launch Trojan horse cryptojacking attacks against Google Android smartphones.
2. Web browser-based Cryptojacking
When a user accesses the webpage holding the material, their web browser automatically launches crypto mining software. This is how the browser-based technique operates.
What are the methods of detecting cryptojacking?
Overheating suddenly occurs when infected devices' fans run more quickly than usual, and batteries could overheat if a cryptojacking script is stressing the processor. A device's life can be shortened or damaged by overheating.
2. Increase in electricity consumption
Another indication of an attack is a sudden rise in electricity expenses. Mining requires a lot of energy and processing power, which uses a lot of electricity. When you observe that power units are climbing up, you may need to check your antivirus status.
3. Poor system performance
You may suddenly observe that your device begins to run slower than usual or crash at unusual moments due to the strain on processing power from the extra workload. This is the reason why you need to be observant of how your system works.
4. The Central Processing Unit (CPU).
Spikes are used by the CPU as a defense against crypto-jacking. When browsing websites that run a little, victims with Windows must examine their CPU usage in Activity Monitor or Task Manager. Users may be alerted to a cryptojacking cyber assault if they observe an unexpected surge.
Cryptojacking malware, however, can be difficult to detect using this technique because it can be constructed to masquerade as genuine programs.
How to prevent cryptojacking
- Endeavor to use strong cybersecurity protection.
- You can also make use of anti-cryptojacking extensions to run in your web browser simultaneously.
- Keep up to date with cryptojacking trends that could be useful.
- Secure servers and cloud configurations to avoid possible intrusion.
In conclusion, when using the internet, people need to further ensure that they make use of a form of cybersecurity to help safeguard against the unforeseen invasion of malware. There is therefore a need for a user to pay attention to the things that happen with the use of the system every time. The user also makes sure to use a trusted and safe crypto browser
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