Cybercriminals are shifting their focus from ransomware to Cryptojacking. This shift is due to the reduced risk and broader probability of financial gain, as it is harder to catch perpetrators. This article discusses all you need to know about cryptojacking and how to prevent it.
WHAT IS CRYPTOCURRENCY?
Before we delve into cryptojacking, it is essential to know what cryptocurrency and crypto mining is, as this might seem confusing to people. Cryptocurrency is an encrypted digital currency that uses cryptography to make online payments for products and services. There are over 3,000 cryptocurrencies in the world now. However, cryptojackers often concentrate on cryptocurrencies such as Monera and Ethereum, as there is more anonymity. Cryptocurrency is highly decentralized, meaning it does not have a regulating body that determines the circulation of these currencies. Hence, a way in which new coins are created into circulation is through mining.
It is simply an energy-intensive process that validates and adds new transactions to the blockchain ledger for reward. The mining process usually takes a large amount of processing power and energy, requiring high-powered processing servers and specialized hardware to compute and add transactions to the online ledger. Now, cryptojacking occurs when cyber criminals access one’s computer and installs software that utilizes the computing power and resources to mine cryptocurrency. Simply put, cryptojackers want the benefit of Cryptocurrency mining without investing in the resources needed to mine.
HOW DOES CRYPTOJACKING WORK?
Cryptojackers may access a computer or personal device through an infected website or email. Hence when the PC user clicks on the link, website, or Ad, crypto mining malware is loaded on the computer, giving full access to the Jacker. The hacker then installs cryptojacking software in the background. This enables the hacker to steal cryptocurrency from the wallet and mine for cryptocurrencies. As a consequence, there would be slower computer performance.
HOW CAN YOU DETECT IT?
As noted above, cyber criminals prefer cryptojacking to ransomware because cryptojacking is more challenging to detect. However, some signs you should look out for include a decline in the performance of your computer, overheating, an increase in CPU usage, and increased battery drain. If you and your IT team notice any of these signs, scanning your security software to identify the malicious programs is crucial.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT IT?
- Make use of solid cybersecurity programs
- Use specialized browser extensions designed to block cryptojacking
- Block Websites that are popularly known for delivering Cryptojacking Scripts
- Use Ad blocking extensions
Cryptojacking is a disruptive activity that can potentially adversely affect your business. By strictly adhering to the preventive measures listed above, be rest assured that you are far from the risk of getting cryptojacked.