Cryptojacking — what is it?
Cryptojacking is a specific scheme that allows the use of other people’s devices without the knowledge of the owner to carry out works of hidden mining. Cryptojacking is also commonly referred to as hidden, malicious and shadow mining. People who use cryptojacking use malicious code. It starts the mining process in the background.
An online threat of this type can hide not only on a computer. Smartphones and tablets can also be subject to similar attacks. In this article, we will talk in more detail about what cryptojacking is, its popularity, the features of this kind of attack, and how to deal with them.
Why is cryptojacking popular?
Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency that appeared in 2009. A year later, the first cryptocurrency exchange was opened. In 2011, alternative cryptocurrencies actively began to appear, which in every possible way tried to compete with bitcoin. The cryptocurrency exchange was subjected to a series of hacker attacks, which led to the theft of BTC.
Since the first attack, cryptojacking has become one of the most serious and global problems in the world. Crypto traders and crypto miners have been under enormous stress. It was caused by the possibility of unauthorized access to computer systems, which was accompanied by minimal effort and risk.
The cryptojacking definition has been actively and carefully studied since the first theft of cryptocurrency. Devoting sufficient time to this concern comes at a cost.
The popularity of cryptojacking is caused by two main reasons, namely:
- Bitcoin setting a record for capitalization in 2021.
- Lack of tools for cyber scammers.
Let’s take a closer look at these two main reasons behind the popularity of cryptojacking.
Setting a record for capitalization by bitcoin
Long and careful studies have shown that attackers who engage in cryptojacking are experienced “entrepreneurs” most often. There is an idea that says that inexperienced people are engaged in the cryptocurrency business. Therefore, they are not able to bypass your security system. This opinion is wrong, unfortunately.
As a rule, such attackers have:
- a business plan;
- processes to launch attacks.
With the help of these components, cryptojackings can hack into miners’ devices to illegally acquire cryptocurrency. Cryptomining is a profitable business, and this fact should alert everyone.
Lack of tools for cyber scammers
The lack of computing power needed to mine bitcoin, as well as most other cryptocurrencies, is one of the main factors that can hold back the cryptocurrency business. Therefore, scammers began to poach computing power within corporate networks. For such a process, exploit kits are used, which are intended for mining.
Increasingly, there are cases when malware vendors rent out networks that have been previously infected with special viruses for cryptojacking. As a rule, botnets are rented out to miners.
How do cryptojacking attacks work?
Cybercriminals hack third-party devices to install special programs for cryptojacking. Cryptojacking malware runs in the background. Such software can either mine cryptocurrency on its own or steal it from crypto wallets. Victims rarely notice any changes in the operation of their device, and use it without suspecting anything. One of the factors that indicate cryptojacking is a decrease in device performance, and slow execution of tasks and operations.
Cryptojacking works based on the following steps:
- Script injection by compromising an asset.
- Execution of the cryptomining script.
- Launch of cryptomining.
- Solution of algorithms.
- Getting a cryptocurrency reward.
Let’s analyze each item in a little more detail — this will allow us to understand the features of each stage and their role in the final result.
Script injection by compromising an asset
At this stage, cyber hackers inject cryptojacking or cryptomining scripts. This procedure is carried out to create a threat. Various methods can be used to inject a script.
Execution of the cryptomining script
Cryptojackers use scripts to illegally obtain cryptocurrency. Scripts can be injected in the following ways:
- launch in a browser;
- launch on websites;
- distribution of malicious links;
- distribution of malicious attachments.
Injecting a malicious script into a third party’s device is not enough. The user needs to click on this file. All hackers are waiting for this particular action, which contributes to the activation of the script.
Launch of cryptomining
After installation or following a malicious script, hidden mining is activated. It starts working in the background, so the user will not even immediately be able to understand what happened while clicking on the link. The action occurs without the knowledge of the user.
Solution of algorithms
Cryptojacking scripts work according to the following principle — they use the capabilities of the device on which they were downloaded. Additional power is needed to mine cryptocurrency. After that, technology is added to the blockchain that collects digital information about the cryptocurrency.
Getting a cryptocurrency reward
Each addition of a new block to the blockchain is accompanied by a reward. It comes to the hacker in the form of cryptocurrency coins. Thus, crypto hackers will be able to gradually accumulate and increase the state of their cryptocurrency wallet without much effort and risk. Replenishment of wallets occurs without the introduction of any data about the user due to the anonymity of the cryptocurrency.
Cryptojacking prevention: tips and tactics
Cryptojacking software is not safe for any device. However, you can protect yourself from illegal mining by third parties who use your gadgets to illegally mine cryptocurrency.
To do this, you should listen to the following tips and tactics:
- Use a reliable cybersecurity program.
- Pay attention to the latest cryptojacking trends.
- Use a browser extension designed to block cryptojacking.
- Use ad-blocking software.
- Block pages containing cryptojacking scripts.
Let’s look at each tactic in more detail. This will allow you to understand how to use one or another protection method.
Use a reliable cybersecurity program
There are comprehensive cybersecurity programs. They are designed to identify different types of threats and additionally protect the device from malware. Such programs can also be used to protect you against cryptojacking.
It is better to install a protection system before you encounter attacks and hackers. Additionally, you can install the latest updates for the operating system and all applications that are directly related to the web browser.
Pay attention to the latest cryptojacking trends
Cryptocurrency criminals are constantly updating malicious codes, creating new schemes for delivering a scripted link to run it on third-party devices. Constant monitoring of new schemes that are being developed by cybercriminals will make it possible to secure the device from intruders and illegal mining.
Use a browser extension designed to block cryptojacking
Very often, scripts are attached to web browsers. After installing such a program, a script designed for cryptojacking will be automatically launched on your device. You can use a special browser extension to protect yourself against cyber hackers.
Use ad-blocking software
Cryptojacking scripts are very typically downloaded to the device through online advertisements. Therefore, installing an ad-blocker can protect gadgets from hackers. Such programs detect malicious links and block them.
Block pages containing cryptojacking scripts
Carefully check the Internet resources you visit to prevent cryptojacking. Additionally, you can blacklist those sites that are suspicious or may potentially contain a malicious script.
How to protect yourself from cryptojacking?
To protect your device from cryptojacking, you need to constantly monitor the working state and performance of all gadget operation parameters. This will allow you to detect the presence of malicious software promptly and remove it. If your computer or mobile device is unstable, you have noticed incorrect execution of tasks, which may indicate the presence of malicious viruses, including background mining. The virus can manifest itself as increased operation of the device and constant overheating at a time when “heavy” programs are not running on it, and the user is not working.
Mining is a complex process that requires a certain power of the video card and the processor. Therefore, excessively slow device operation can also indicate the presence of malicious software. If the command manager shows strange files that do not respond to your instructions, you should check these programs.
If you don’t know how to detect cryptojacking yet, then the following information will be helpful. Scanning a computer is often enough to detect the presence of stealth mining. Cybersecurity companies update their antivirus databases very frequently.
You can also find information about mining viruses. However, now cyberhackers encrypt scripts using cryptography, which makes them unrecognizable.
If you cannot detect the presence of a virus, there are also cryptojacking examples — installing system load monitoring. You should check the temperature of your computer or smartphone at a time when it is not loaded with work. The second option is to install system load monitoring. Thus, the user will be able to monitor network traffic. If there is a constant connection with the pool, then this will indicate the presence of background mining.
If your device is used for cryptojacking, then you should remove the malicious software. One of the easiest ways is called a complete reinstallation of the system. There are special programs that can remove scripts.
There is paid software on the market that is designed to protect against cryptojacking. The work of such programs is aimed at combating various viruses, preventing their installation and blocking the domains of many mining pools.
The chances of attackers will drop dramatically if users of computers or mobile devices regularly update the operating system and applications that work to protect the device. You should download the necessary programs only from the supplier’s official website. This will prevent malicious media from being loaded onto the device.
Do you want to protect your cryptocurrency at the bank level?
Do you want to protect your cryptocurrency at the bank level? In this case, you should pay attention to the Grapherex application. This is an offer that is based on a secure crypto infrastructure. It has wide functionality, providing users with all the necessary tools for work.
The Grapherex application offers customers a secure multi-currency wallet that will allow them to conduct various cryptocurrency transactions with maximum protection and security. Based on the application, a cryptocurrency exchange is offered, which will allow you to exchange currencies at a favourable rate. Users will also be able to make purchases and payments for services.
Choosing the Grapherex app means you get the following benefits:
- Maximum protection against intruders. Protect yourself from unauthorized actions by unauthorized persons.
- A complete set of necessary functions without the use of auxiliary software.
- Communication in the messenger, which is protected from listening.
- High-quality services for free, quickly and conveniently.
If you are looking for a way to protect your device from cryptojacking and also secure your cryptocurrency, then the Grapherex app is the best option. Visit grapherex.com to learn more about this program.