Cryptojacking: How Hackers Are Using Your Computer To Mine Cryptocurrencies?

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Well…. My dear fellow bitcoin, ethereum and number of other precious cryptocurrency enthusiasts, the thing we love most is seeing those green numbers in the market that screams “rise in prices”. Right! Oh, we all do!

But do you know what comes with price rise, a lot of mining! Well, I won’t be getting into the environmental concerns of mining here, but nefarious plots used by hackers in mining. One of such threat is cryptojacking.

When someone makes a secret use of your computing device to mine the cryptocurrency that is called cryptojacking. Here a victim basically unknowingly installs a program which starts mining the cryptocurrency secretly.  

Well, that is not all!

Sometimes this secret mining doesn’t even need a program to be installed which is called in-browser cryptojacking.

Also, read… Is Bitcoin Mining Actually an Environmental Hazard?

Understanding the Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking might be a few months old with its introduction in September 2017, but it has certainly gained immense popularity. This method harnesses the computer power of the affected PC for their own benefit.

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Now, malicious miners are utilizing the Javascript that starts working instantly the moment you load a web page that is compromised.

When you visit an infected site, there is no way to tell if that page has a hidden mining component, at least not immediately. It works so well that you may not even notice its impact on your computer’s performance. But someone has definitely hijacked your device and your energy bill as well.

Also known as drive-by mining, the hackers put codes on the website. This not only leads to nonconsent cryptocurrency mining on the PC of infected website visitor but can also result in loss of personal data, system freeze and lost work. Additionally, gaps can be created that are exploited by the hacker affecting the privacy, productivity, and security of an individual.

Cryptojacking Rises with the Rise in Crypto Prices

With the rise in the value and of course popularity of cryptocurrencies, the cybercriminal activities like crypotjacking rise as well. It was first detected when a company, Coinhive created a script that started mining the Monero cryptocurrency. Within days there have been a number of Coinhive copycats in the market that were mostly targeted to compromised sites. These cryptojacking codes also target those sites that have a high volume of visitors to achieve the maximum gain.

In late February, this year, there had been reports that the popular electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla was also targeted by a cryptojacking attack.

Now, as the awareness and meaning of cryptojacking have increased, businesses have been warned to be cautious and not to ignore this threat. Moreover, the newer versions of antivirus software have entered the market that has inbuilt blockers to ward off this threat!

What do you think of cryptojakcing? Have you encountered this cyber threat? Let us know below!

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Casper Brown

I am an associate content producer for the news section of Coingape. I have previously worked as a freelancer for numerous sites and have covered a dynamic range of topics from sports, finance to economics and politics.

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