A Thorough Analysis of Cryptojacking and Its Prevention

Ever since the cryptocurrencies have gained popularity in the financial world as a revolutionary medium of payment settlements, there has been an unfortunate increase in the crimes, frauds, and illicit activities around this new age technology niche. With hefty amounts being circulated in the crypto circuit and lack of complete knowledge about the operations, data of digital asset holdings are often compromised. The most recent crypto crime that is enveloping the crypto domain in its grip is “Cryptojacking.”

Cryptojacking is the term used for the process in which cybercriminals indulge in unauthorized usage of computer systems, mobiles, tablets, or connected home devices to mine cryptocurrencies notoriously. The criminals load the malicious crypto mining code on the victim’s computer through an infected email or by corrupting a website or online ad with a JavaScript code.

The Rampant Growth of Cryptojacking

It is unlikely to assess the volume of cryptocurrency that has been mined through cryptojacking in all these years, but it will not be wrong to say that the crime has strongly rooted itself into the depths of the industry.

According to the Bad Packets Report, published in February 2018, a total of 34,474 sites were found guilty of running the most well-known JavaScript miner Coinhive. Later in July 2018, Check Point Software Technologies stated that out of the top 10 malware they have detected, four were crypto miners with Coinhive and Cryptoloot grabbing the top two slots.

Cryptomining, which earlier accounted for 23% of all the total cyber attacks in 2018, now has succumbed to a mere 7% as revealed by the Positive Technology’s Cybersecurity Threatscape Q1 2019 report. The reports indicated that ransomware crimes have earned greater popularity in recent times.

The Cryptojacking Mechanism

Two widely used mechanisms are being used by programmers to facilitate cryptojacking. One of the most popular methods adopted by the scammers is to send legitimate-looking email into the computer system of a person, thereby forcing him to click on the link provided in the email. As soon as the person clicks the link, the crypto mining code starts running and the corrupted script gets installed on the computer.

The most prominent feature of these infected programs is that they continue to function in the background without getting noticed by the victims. The only significant signal one can pay attention to is the reduction in the performance speed and execution.

Another cryptojacking method is known as a web browser miner. The hackers corrupt the system by injecting a crypto mining script on a website or an ad that is present on various web portals. On the visit to an affected website, the script runs automatically on the system.

In both the methods, the victim remains unaware while the malicious code solves the mathematical problems and transmits the results to the hacker.

How To detect Cryptojacking?

The potent signs which convey cryptojacking infection include:

  • Unusual high processor usage
  • Overheating of the computer or device in use
  • Very slow response times

Cryptojacking Prevention

To keep oneself protected from the cryptojacking threats, one can use efficient security software like Norton Security. For additional coverage from the malicious software, one can also install ad-blocking or anti-crypto mining extensions on web browsers.

However, as the well-known proverb says that “Prevention is better than cure,” one should keep themselves aware of phishing emails, suspicious attachments, and links.

David Cox

David is a finance graduate and crypto enthusiast. He projects his expertise in subjects like crypto and Blockchain while writing for CryptoNewsZ. Being from Finance background, he efficiently writes Price Analysis. Apart from writing, he actively nurtures hobbies like sports and movies.

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