As the name indicates, cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of a computer, tablet, mobile phone from cyber criminals to extract the cryptocurrency. According to Norton, in recent years, crypto-jacking has gained ground because cybercriminals are able to hack machines with only a few lines of code. In the meantime, it is the victim who has to bear the cost of the calculation and the electricity needed to extract the cryptocurrency while the cyber criminals move away with the tokens.
Norton data show that in late 2017, when the value of cryptocurrencies increased significantly, in December alone there were about 8 million coin-mining events blocked by Symantec. Since crypto jacking can provide lucrative results, miners have resorted to coin-mining activities that have increased by 34,000 percent over the course of the year.
Understanding the extraction of cryptocurrencies
We define the cryptocurrency. This is a digital asset that has been created to function as an exchange channel. The technology uses a process called cryptography that protects all transactions and adjusts the formulation of additional units of the currency. These digital currencies are also classified as alternative currencies and virtual currencies.
According to the whitepaper written by Cyber Threat AllianceCryptocurrencies are developed through a process known as mining, in which the digital currency is assigned to individuals or groups that use computing power to solve complex mathematical equations. In most cases, mining is legitimately conducted by users through programs or applications running on computers or through web browsers that extract coins. Cryptomining allows the limited mining of Crypto resources and regulates their production making it difficult to release new resources when extracting a huge amount of blocks. Some of the most popular cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero and Zcash. Bitcoin was the first blockchain coin to be introduced on the market. According to the CTA white paper, most hackers undermine Monero because the computational resources needed for this virtual currency are less than other currencies.
What are the ways in which crypto jacking is performed?
Cryptography has become an attractive alternative to cybercriminals and in recent years has emerged as a lucrative revenue generation option. Let's see what are some of the ways crypto jacking works.
Malicious email or phishing that can link the mining encryption code on your computer: One of the most widespread ways is through malicious e-mails that can install the encryption code on a computer. This is done through phishing tactics in which the user receives a harmless link or an attachment in the e-mail. When the user clicks on the link or downloads the attachment, activate the code that downloads the encryption script on the computer. This script works in the background. In this case, the hacker receives the result directly on his server.
Miner of the Web browser: Another widely used tactic is Web Browser Miner where the hacker inserts the encryption script into a website or an ad. This is one of the most commonly used methods and when users visit the website or click on the ad, the script runs automatically. In this case, there is no code stored on the victim's computer.
How to detect crypto jacking on your device
Just like any other malware infection, it is possible to detect illicit cryptocurrency mining. Here are some ways to prevent encryption
- Increased use of the processor on your device is an indication of malware
- Slow or unusually slow response times
- Overheating of the device can also be caused by a crypto-jacking
Cryptojacking is here to stay
Some of the recent examples of illegal encryption are those in which YouTube was captured in the cryptographic scandal when one of the YouTube ads was compromised and started mining operations in users' browsers. Meanwhile, recent reports indicate that users of Facebook Messenger and Starbucks Wi-Fi have also been victims of coin-mining operations when their services have been compromised by hackers using CoinHive.
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