Cryptojacking is an emerging online threat that hides on a computer or mobile device and uses the machine’s resources to “mine” forms of online money known as cryptocurrencies. Cryptojacking is also called as “Malicious Cryptomining”.

A cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that can be used in exchange for goods, services, and even real money. Users can “mine” it on their computer by using special programs to solve complex, encrypted math equations in order to gain a piece of the currency.

How does work Cryptojacking:

Cryptojacker has two primary ways to get a victim’s computer to secretly mine cryptocurrencies. One is to trick victims into loading cryptomining code onto their computers. This is done through phishing-like tactics: Victim click on a malicious link in an email and it loads cryptomining code directly onto your computer. Once a victim computer is infected, the cryptojacker starts working around the clock to mine cryptocurrency while staying hidden in the background. Because it resides on your PC, it’s local—a persistent threat that has infected the computer itself.

An alternative cryptojacking approach is sometimes called drive-by cryptomining. Similar to malicious advertising exploits, the scheme involves embedding a piece of JavaScript code into a Web page. After that, it performs cryptocurrency mining on user machines that visit the page.

The other method is to inject a script on a website or an ad that is delivered to multiple websites. Once victims visit the website or the infected ad pops up in their browsers, the script automatically executes. No code is stored on the victims’ computers. Whichever method is used, the code runs complex mathematical problems on the victims’ computers and sends the results to a server that the hacker controls.

How to detect cryptojacking:

As with any other malware infection, there are some signs you may be able to notice on your own.

Symptoms of cryptojacking

  • High processor usage on your device
  • Sluggish or unusually slow response times
  • Overheating of your device

How to prevent Cryptojacking:

  • Use anti-mining browser extensions – Use browser extensions like No Coin and Anti Miner that are designed to block miners on the web.
  • Use Antivirus software that blocks mining scripts and pools –  Download and install reputable Antivirus or Anti-malware software like Malwarebytes to block known mining scripts and pools.
  • Disable JavaScript – Disabling JavaScript in your browser will stop cryptojacking while you browse the web but it can also block functions that you need.
  • Use Opera browser with ad-blocking enabled – The latest versions of Opera have NoCoin with cryptocurrency mining protection built in.

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