Know Everything about Cryptojacking!!!
Getting robbed for Fiat currency is the common attack encountered by most of the individuals in this world. Surprisingly, these days hackers have become advanced, now they also steal computing power along with fiat currency. Have you ever heard of this? This kind of robbery is termed as “Cryptojacking”. In other words, Cryptojacking is an attack that includes robbing the target’s computational power without his/her consent in order to mine cryptocurrency. It can also be termed as “Cryptomining malware or Coinjacking”. Cryptojacking has been noticed since August 2017 but eventually geared up the speed at the rate of 8500% by December 2017.
Mining cryptocurrency requires expensive computer devices, graphic cards and special software for solving complex math puzzles for gaining a small amount of cryptocurrency. Mining is directly proportional to the number of devices working i.e. more the number of working devices more faster is the mining speed. Thus, it makes the process tricky, time-consuming, requiring a lot of computing power and a costly endeavor. For this reason, to make the mining an easy and cheap process, hackers have adopted Cryptojacking i.e. the misuse of the target’s device to mine, generate new tokens along with fees and charges. The hacker keeps the new tokens and fees generated while the expenses that have occurred is been taken from the victim unknowingly.
How is Cryptojacking done?
Cryptojacking is achieved from malicious activities or some hidden code in the browser that runs undetected. The cryptojacking scripts do not harm the data stored in the computer but they cause the computer to operate at a much slower rate. Browser-based and Drive-by download are two methods of cryptojacking. In both the methods, the code solves complex mathematical problems and the results are sent to the hacker’s server and the victim remains unaware.
- Browser-based Cryptojacking:
2. Drive-by download Cryptojacking:
In this method, on the basis of phishing tactics malicious links are sent through emails or SMS. When the infected link is clicked by the victim, the code runs which downloads the crypto-mining script on the computer. This script continuously runs in the background without the consent of the victim.
How to detect cryptojacking?
There are specific network monitoring tools that help in detection. Apart from that, there are some red flags that indicate cryptojacking:
- Sudden fall in the processing power of the computer
- Overheating of the system due to CPU power
- High CPU usage on PC’s or mainframes
How to curb down Cryptojacking?
- Installation of a browser extension for immediate detection and blocking cryptojacking attempts (For eg. NoCoin- a crypto mining malware blocker for Google Chrome).
- Use high-quality anti-virus software (For eg.Kaspersky, Bitdefender)
- Use Opera- a browser that provides built-in crypto mining malware protection for its users.
- Use strong internet security software suite such as Norton Security™ that helps to block cryptojacking threats
- Always be careful with phishing emails, unknown attachments, and dubious links.
Real-world Cryptojacking Attacks:
- Jan 2018: Approximately half-million computers in Russia, India, and Taiwan were infected with crypto mining botnet that mined cryptocurrency of value $3.6 million
- Feb 2018: To mine “Monero” a cybersecurity firm in Spain was hacking using WannaMine script.
- Feb 2018: Using in-browser cryptojacking, the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s office website and the American court system were infected.
- Feb 2018: Tesla Inc. had been the victim of cryptojacking when its Amazon Web Services software container was compromised.
- Feb 2018: Governments in Britain, the U.S. and Canada were affected by a cryptojacking attack giving the advantage of a vulnerability in a text-to-speech software embedded in many of these governments’ sites. Attackers inserted Coinhive script into the software that allowed mining of Monero cryptocurrency using visitors’ browsers.
Cryptojacking can be an easy money making scheme that doesn’t harm or steal files stored on the computer. But, it is highly recommended that every user must know about these attacks and be cautious to prevent such attacks by following the above-mentioned recommendations.