Cryptojacking is when cybercriminals get unauthorized access to a victim’s PC, tablet, or mobile to mine cryptocurrency. The most popular method thieves utilize is to trick a crypto holder, the target, into clicking on a malicious link via email. The link loads cryptomining codes on the target’s computer. The phishing-like tactic is very effective.
As unsuspecting victim uses their computers, the malware stealthily works in the background to execute cryptomining auto-commands. Using complex mathematical problems, the code processes on the victim’s computer system. Then sends results to an untraceable server administered by the hackers.
However, the complexity of cryptojacking, especially for the victims, is that it does not normally cause damage to the victim’s stored data, like most malware would do. The only impact it would have on your computer if you’re a victim is to slow it down, interfere with an internet connection, and affect battery performance.
How to prevent cryptojacking
Like any other issues or problems in life, preventing them are always better than the cure. As such, there is a raft of measures that you can take to keep yourself safe from such cyber-attacks, which include:
- Update your security awareness training manual by including cryptojacking in the manuals. Training of employees should target to create awareness on the type of phishing they are likely to meet.
- Update all your software: the first foolproof method of preventing Cryptojacking Malware is to update all your software and devices with the latest security patches and fixes. Many cyber attackers target known vulnerabilities in existing software;
- Ensure that you only install software from trusted sources. Take precaution if your PC’s antivirus reports that software you’re just about to install is from suspicious source; and
- Keep off suspicious websites, specifically those with shortened URLs. These websites can host numerous malicious scripts, including those of cryptojackers.
How to detect and recover from cryptojacking
Cryptojacking has some obvious signs that you can spot with your PC. The first is increased process usage, which slows down your computer. The computer could exhibit slow response time, overheating, and draining of battery. These signs show that your computer could be under attack.
How to recover from Cryppto-Jacking
Once you suspect that you’re a victim of cryptojacking, you need to take a raft of measures to recover from the ordeal.
Kill and block website-delivered scripts. Your IT team should be able to trace the source, i.e. website URL where the script came from, and update the company’s web filters to permanently block it. It helps to install anti-cryptomining software or tools in order to prevent or survive future attacks.
Update and complete removal of certain browser extensions will sometimes do the job. Often times, the attacks come from a computer browser extension, but knowing which did may be difficult unless a security audit is carried out. The easiest method is to update all the extension and remove the redundant or affected ones; and
Mathieu is a Information technology professional with over 15 years of experience. He started one of the first bitcoin blogs existed in 2010. He started writing about, investing in bitcoin and promoting the first cryptocurrency when only a few technological savvy people knew about it. Mathieu is a world traveler who enjoys culture, technology, finance, salmon, rice and beans. He’s cool, collected and knows a great deal about blockchain technology.