Normally when you think about being hacked you think about someone breaking into your computers to steal sensitive information, or hold you ransom. Cryptojacking is a different kind of hacking, it is where a hacker uses the resources of your computer, mobile device, or other IOT (internet of things) device to mine for cryptocurrency without your knowledge.
Why is this such an issue?
Truthfully it may seem harmless, but the amount of computer resources it takes to mine cryptocurrency is vast, it can put a strain on even the most powerful computers. What this means for your devices is that they can slow down, overheat causing them to become damaged. This is why hackers want to use your computer to mine for cryptocurrency instead of their own.
How can cryptojacking infect my computer
Really there are two ways, one most people think of and another most don't.
- Malware. You can unsuspectingly download a piece of malicious software (it can even come bundled with known good software) that runs a script on your computer to crypto mine.
- Websites. There known accounts of websites that have malicious code built into them that use your computer to crypto mine just by you visiting that website.
How do I avoid cryptojacking
Really it is a multi-step approach.
- Monitor your computer for over utilized resources. If your machine is being use for crypto mining you will notice processes using a high amount of your computer's resources. You may initially notice it because your computer seems sluggish or gets hot.
- Run advanced anti-virus on your machine that can detect these zero-day threats and anomalies. (warning, conventional anti-virus does not often detect these type of threats).
- Pay attention to the websites you visit. You can often tell if a website is running slow, sometimes this may just be your internet connection, but if it is just particular websites you might want to see if they are being use for crypto mining by visiting https://whoismining.com
- Have a good cybersecurity policy and protections in place. We have seen many attacks on our clients recently. Luckily their firewalls have seen and stopped these websites. Having a good firewall with intrusion prevention and protection can mean all the difference when it comes to your organizations security.
Of course if you have any questions or would like to protect your organization please don't hesitate to reach out to us at www.creativeit.com or 336.310.0277