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Cryptojacking (malware) : What is it?

September 24, 2018

 

What is Cryptojacking?
For those not yet up to speed with the current online trends, Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency used in exchange for goods, services and even actual money. In order to “mine” Cryptocurrency, users have to download/install special programs on their computers, then use them to solve complex and encrypted math equations. So, Cryptojacking would be the unauthorised use of any internet connected device (Computer, tablet, mobile phone etc), to mine for Cryptocurrency. A serious thread for your network security.

 

How does Cryptojacking work?
Mining for Coin on your own can be a very long and costly process with key challenges such as elevated electricity bills and expensive computer equipment. This is because, the more devices you have working for you, the faster you can mine for coins due to the combined power of all the connected devices. As this process is also time and resource consuming, it is attractive to Cybercriminals.


Another way in which Cybercriminals commit Cryptojacking is by injecting a Cryptomining script on a website (could be an AD placed in multiple websites); so that when the victim visits the infected site, the script is automatically executed. This method ensures that no code is stored on the victims’ machine therefore making it harder to trace the hack.


In both these cases, the code will be solving complex mathematical problems in the background and sending the results back to the hacker’s server all while the victim is completely unaware.

 

How do you detect Cryptojacking?
Just like any other malware infection, there are various signs that a user may be able to look out for. Symptoms of Cryptojacking are as follows:
•    Unexplainable High processor usage on your device
•    Sluggish or unusually slow response times
•    Overheating of your device

 

How do you prevent Cryptojacking?
Cryptojacking has become the new ransomware because Cryptojacking incidents appear to be growing. The rise in these incidents show that someone doesn’t even need to own cryptocurrency to be a victim. As long as cryptocurrencies have value, anyone with a computer is a potential victim.


Cloudsis Network Security solution can help block Cryptojacking threats. As well as using Network Security software/harware it is vital that users are provided with training to help them identify security threats. Users must be extra vigilant and remain wary of phishing emails, unknown attachments, and dubious links. At Cloudsis we provide training sessions to help our Cloud users and other other clients to know all the cyber threats and how to identify them before they have affected your system. If you are interested please contact us at training@intsysuk.com
 

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