For attackers, cryptojacking delivers free money. Hackers leverage computer resources they don’t own to mine for digital coins. For device owners and business network admins, cryptojacking compromise can mean increased power consumption, reduced resource performance — and potentially criminal investigation.
The nature of blockchain transactions complicates the process of stealing cryptocurrencies but offers another avenue for attackers. By using digital processing power in place of physical picks and shovels, computers equipped with mining software “dig” crypto coins out of virtual environments.
To ensure the general stability of crypto markets, however, significant time and effort is required to uncover digital currency. Hackers looking to shortcut this method have created cryptojacking malware that infects devices, co-opts their processing power, and then sends mined money back to attacker emails.
Avoiding these attacks means paying attention to the most common threat vectors — phishing scams and website compromise. Emails with urgent messages and odd attachments may contain mining malware that will download and execute once opened, while infected websites inject mining code and deploy tactics to open browser tabs undetected.
Don’t open unexpected attachments, use active scanning software to detect potential browser threats, and keep your system security software up to date to reduce the chance of compromise.
If you’re concerned you may be the victim of a cryptojacking compromise, common warning signs include:
- High energy bills: If your network has been infected, you may notice higher-than-average utility bills as attackers run mining processes on seemingly idle machines.
- Poor performance: Once-fast computers suddenly taking twice as long to open software or randomly crashing during the day are an indication of cryptomining malware.
Cryptojacking remains a top threat, but effective detection and prevention methods can reduce risk of compromise. To learn even more about cryptomining methods, dig into the complementary infographic.
Courtesy Of Aqueity
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