In the digital currency space, the broadest illicit activities or examples you may witness involve credit card and scheme fraud, identity theft, sams within traders, and SIM wrapping. While these are just some examples, there exists another notable fraud in the crypto arena that the investors and traders should be aware of. This malicious act is known as cryptojacking. So let us learn a bit in detail about this act.
What Is Cryptojacking And Its Operations
Let us first begin with defining the term “cryptojacking”. This is also termed as “malicious digital currency mining” and is a form of fraudulent activity that is done through the internet with the aim of using someone else’s laptop or their PC to get digital currencies which can be any crypto.
To align it simply, these hackers who are called cryptojackers hack your computer device and use its computational power to mine digital currencies. So what is the purpose of this? The main aim of cryptojacking as stated previously is to mine digital currencies. To evaluate this activity further let us quickly see what digital currency mining is.
Crypto mining is a process of generating new crypto by solving complex mathematical problems. These complicated mathematical problems need to be solved to create a block. On successful creation of each block, they are rewarded with new cryptos. This is a passive way to earn cryptos and for this, they require computers with high computational power.
What the cryptojackers try to do is mine crypto with these PCs by using the victim’s resources. By doing this they do not have to spend on arranging these devices and they get the cryptos without spending a single penny. These hackers can receive the computing resources of the victim without the consent and knowledge of the victim. These hackers steal the computing powers of their equipment and combine them together until it is enough for them to formulate their resources to operate the mining functions.
Another alarming concept is that cryptojacking attacks are not constrained to laptops. Apart from aiming at the personal computers, cryptojackers can act this malicious activity in the smartphones of the target, tablets, other home appliances that are linked to the Internet, and servers also. There are many examples of cryptojacking that have happened in the crypto space.
Types Of Cryptojacking Attacks
This type of attack is similar to phishing scams that employ malicious links which redirect to compromised servers that are able to get sensitive data when clicked. In cryptojacking this is done via malware scripts, a link that has malware automatically downloads a harmful code and installs the harmful code to the laptop of the victim or device when clicked. After successful installation of the malware, cryptojackers can initiate the mining process on the device of the victim.
Typically, malware operates by destroying and harming a victim’s PC once it enters the OS. However, cryptojacking via malware scripts functions differently.
Since the hackers require the equipment of the victim and its computing powers as well to operate crypto mining functions, the malware will spare the device that is compromised. It will not harm the computer at all so it can mine cryptocurrencies in the long run.
How To Detect Cryptojacking?
While this malicious activity operates very discreetly and in the absence of the victim being informed, there are some visible indications that can denote whether or not your PC is being cryptojacked. Here are the signs of cryptojacking.
Spike in CPU usage:
Check your performance of the computer. One good pointer is if you notice a rise in the CPU (Central Processing Unit) of your computer while browsing websites that do not have a lot of media content. If this occurs to your device, there are more chances that your PC is infected by the cryptojacking malware.
Unusual slow response:
Crypto mining operates complex functions and needs much computing resources from your elements. Because of this, you will see an uncommon lagged working from your computer, even with its most basic operations.
Since there are complex and added functions operating in the background with cryptojacking, you may see a slight alteration in the temperature of your computer.
How To Prevent Cryptojacking?
Now that you have the pointers that will help you to understand if your PC is compromised, let us learn the practical techniques on how you can safeguard your device from being an element for illicit crypto mining processes of the hackers.
Download and install an ad-blocker:
This is among the most common techniques to safeguard being a victim of cryptojacking. Having an ad-blocker planted on your browser will prevent your device from opening or clicking malicious and compromised codes that are embedded in online advertisements. Ad-blockers are also thought to be a good choice if you are searching for device safety as it is deemed for detecting digital currency mining scripts.
Install anti-cryptocurrency mining extensions:
Some people are not fans of having any extensions on their web browsers. However, if you think you are exposed to cryptojacking and other crypto related frauds on the internet, you can try to get some plug-ins for an added case of security. There is a lot of this form of software that can be installed for free, so ensure you check them out and pick among them that operate effectively for you.
Keep your web filtering tools up-to-date:
Continuously updating your filtering tools allows the same or even higher case of protection while browsing online. Other than that you will find many cryptojacking tutorials that you can refer to for further clearance of doubts.
Scams are an integral thing if you are working on the internet, and crypto being completely digital is more prone to getting hacked and scams and one among them is cryptojacking. In this type of scam, the PC of an individual is hacked so that the hackler can get access to the computer and use its computational power to mine digital currencies. Mining digital currencies is a lucrative way but it is also cost extensive as the system needs to be good. So these hackers avail the system of their victim and earn crypto by mining.
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