A guide to cryptojacking – how to prevent your computer from being turned into a money-making tool | The Daily Swig

Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for clever ways to turn new technology into money-making opportunities. Cryptojacking is one of their latest innovations

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of an individual or organization’s computer to secretly mine for cryptocurrency.

Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for clever ways to turn new technology into money-making opportunities.

By Michael Nadeau

Senior Editor,

CSO |

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of someone else’s computer to mine cryptocurrency. Hackers do this by either getting the victim to click on a malicious link in an email that loads cryptomining code on the computer, or by infecting a website or online ad with JavaScript code that auto-executes once loaded in the victim’s browser.

[ How much does a cyber attack really cost? Take a look at the numbers. | Get the latest from CSO by signing up for our newsletters.

Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for clever ways to turn new technology into money-making opportunities. Cryptojacking is one of their latest innovations

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of an individual or organization’s computer to secretly mine for cryptocurrency.

Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for clever ways to turn new technology into money-making opportunities.

Posted: February 27, 2018 by Pieter Arntz

Last updated: August 16, 2018

Noticing that your computer is running slow? While sometimes a telltale sign of malware infection, these days that seems doubly true.

And the reason is: malicious cryptomining.

So, what, exactly, is it? We’ll tell you how bad this latest malware phenomenon is for you and your computer, plus what you can do about it.

Malicious cryptomining, also sometimes called drive-by mining, is when someone else is using your computer to mine cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Monero. But instead of cashing in on your own computer’s horsepower, the collected coins go into the other person’s account and not yours.

The popularity of cryptocurrency, a form of digital currency, is rising. However, many people do not understand cryptocurrency and the risks associated with it. Malicious cyber actors use cryptocurrency-based malware campaigns to install cryptomining software that hijacks the processing power of victim devices and systems to earn cryptocurrency. There are steps users can take to protect their internet-connected systems and devices against this illicit activity.

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency used as a medium of exchange, similar to other currencies. Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, Ethereum, and Ripple are just a few types of the cryptocurrencies available.

Last year, word spread that popular yet dubious torrent site The Pirate Bay had embedded cryptocurrency mining software on its site, stirring up widespread controversy. If it wasn’t clear then, it is now: The Pirate Bay was exploiting its visitors by hijacking CPUs, or processors, to do the bookkeeping of cryptocurrency networks like those of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

If this sounds like shady practice, it is.

We are talking about The Pirate Bay (TPB) after all.

In its defense, all the organization had to add was that it was trying to earn revenues to make up for its gradual elimination of advertisements altogether. In effect, it’s a clever way to make money from the swaths of TPB users sporting ad-blocking extensions.

Unfortunately, ‘borrowing’ someone else’s computer to do your bidding is a devious strategy, even if it is a legal gray area.

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If 2017 was the year of the ransomware attack, then 2018, insofar as it can be defined by malware, was the year of cryptojacking.

In early 2018, the cryptocurrency market hit unprecedented levels, leading to a boom in cryptocurrency mining, both legal and illicit.

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Criminals are using ransomware-like tactics and poisoned websites to get your employees’ computers to mine cryptocurrencies. Here’s what you can do to stop it.

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of someone else’s computer to mine cryptocurrency. Hackers do this by either getting the victim to click on a malicious link in an email that loads cryptomining code on the computer, or by infecting a website or online ad with JavaScript code that auto-executes once loaded in the victim’s browser.

Either way, the cryptomining code then works in the background as unsuspecting victims use their computers normally.

Coinminers (also called cryptocurrency miners) are programs that generate Bitcoin, Monero, Ethereum, or other cryptocurrencies that are surging in popularity. When intentionally run for one’s own benefit, they may prove a valuable source of income.

However, malware authors have created threats and viruses which use commonly-available mining software to take advantage of someone else’s computing resources (CPU, GPU, RAM, network bandwidth, and power), without their knowledge or consent (i.e. cryptojacking).

There are many different ways to force a computer or device to mine cryptocurrency.

One reply on “A guide to cryptojacking – how to prevent your computer from being turned into a money-making tool | The Daily Swig”

A guide to cryptojacking – how to prevent your computer from being turned into a money-making tool | The Daily Swig

As the value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Monero skyrocketed last year, a more sinister trend came with it. Cybercriminals saw the opportunity to hijack unprotected computers to use their processing power to mine cryptocurrency – an activity that involves calculating extremely complex mathematical problems.

Those calculations require a lot of CPU resources and electricity, so hackers use browser mining scripts to illicitly using other people’s computers (called cryptojacking) so they can mine cryptocurrencies at no cost.

In this article, we’ll explain how you can protect your system from browser mining so it’s not used as a get-rich-quick vehicle for cybercriminals.

First, we need to understand the nature of cryptocurrencies. These digital currencies are based on cryptography (also referred to as hash algorithms) that record financial transactions.

Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for clever ways to turn new technology into money-making opportunities. Cryptojacking is one of their latest innovations

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of an individual or organization’s computer to secretly mine for cryptocurrency.

Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for clever ways to turn new technology into money-making opportunities.

Is your computer fan spinning up for no apparent reason? Your electricity bill inexplicably high? Your laptop battery draining much faster than usual? It may not be all the Netflix you’re binging or a computer virus. Cryptocurrency miners may be using your computer’s resources to generate cryptocurrency without your consent. We know it sounds like something out of a video game or one of those movies that barely gets technology right, but as much as cryptomining may sound like fiction, the impact on your life can be very real.

Unauthorized cryptominers are scripts (think of them as tiny programs) that run energy-sucking operations on your web browser without your knowledge or consent. They literally steal your system’s computing power to make money.

By Michael Nadeau

Senior Editor,

CSO |

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of someone else’s computer to mine cryptocurrency. Hackers do this by either getting the victim to click on a malicious link in an email that loads cryptomining code on the computer, or by infecting a website or online ad with JavaScript code that auto-executes once loaded in the victim’s browser.

[ How much does a cyber attack really cost? Take a look at the numbers. | Get the latest from CSO by signing up for our newsletters.

Crypto mining is the process of releasing cryptocurrencies into a network by completing a given set of mathematical computations. And just like any other mining industry — gold, data, etc.– it comes with a unique set of challenges.

For the uninitiated, cryptocurrencies are underpinned by a technology known as blockchain.

Blockchains are digital ledgers that permanently store information.

More precisely, they are strings of blocks containing verified data joined together by “hashes.” Hence, to create a blockchain, data has to be processed and verified. This is where crypto miners come in, verifying data and earning cryptocurrency rewards in return.

Originally, you could easily mine with your personal computers.

However, this isn’t the case anymore, especially with an increase in the number of crypto miners.

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