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What Is Cryptojacking & How to Prevent it?

  • Salman Ahmed
  • 14th Jun, 2018

As the digital economy has grown and given rise to crypto currencies, cases of cryptojacking are increasing exponentially. Your system could be mining cryptocurrency for a stranger right now and you don’t even know about it.

With the increasing ratio of cryptojacking victims, you can’t help but to wonder whether technology is a curse, especially when you are deeply immersed in the so-called revolutionary digital currencies.

cryptojacking

Initially, I didn’t believe that cryptojacking was possible. But a few months earlier, my faith in Cryptojacking started developing. My uncle told me that his newly bought laptop performance was getting worse day by day – the cause, cryptojacking!

So if you received any strange email and found a malicious link offering some great deals regarding cryptocurrencies, then we are 200% sure that this link might contain cryptojacking code.

And if you already made a big mistake by clicking on that link, then get ready to face some serious crawling speed and glitches on your system. With a heavy heart, you are now a victim of cryptojacking. Your system will dedicate all the processing power towards cryptojacking for someone else.

Now, are you looking for to prevent cryptojacking activity from your system? Do not worry, as always, we are here to solve all your queries.

But before moving towards Cryptojacking solutions, let first quickly run through what is Cryptojacking and then figure out is there any difference between Cryptojacking and Cryptomining. Let’s go!

what-is-cryptojacking

Just like a plane-hijacking scenario, where hijackers hijack the controlling part of the plane, cockpit, to turn its direction towards their desired place, the process of Cryptojacking is similar. As hijackers control the cockpit, these hackers hijack your core processing power unit to mine cryptocurrency without letting you know.

In other words, cryptojacking is also known as a new form of cyber-attack that allows hackers to use your system’s primary power to mine cryptocurrency without taking any permission or acknowledgment.

We hope that until now you have some idea about what is crypto jacking. Moving on, do you know why legal authorities don’t praise Cryptojacking but don’t have any issue with Cryptomining?

Cryptojacking Definition

The process of Cryptojacking is explained as the illegal way or secret way to use someone’s system to mine cryptocurrency.

Cryptojacking is the way that illegally accesses someone’s system by installing a mining malware or program, which confidentially mines the cryptocurrency. Cryptojacking is recognized as a cyber-attack in which anonymous hacker’s attacks and hijacks the user’s system’s processing power unit to mine cryptocurrency without letting them know.

It is difficult for ordinary users to identify whether their system is hijacked by hackers to mine cryptocurrency or not. However, various ways can help the users to predict that their system is being used for Cryptojacking, which is later explained in this blog.

Cryptojacking vs. Cryptomining

In simple words, when the process of Cryptomining is done illegally, then it turns into cryptojacking. This means that without any legal authorization of using another system or by hacking it, it turns it into Cryptojacking.

It means Cryptomining itself is not illegal, but the way you choose to mine cryptocurrencies decides whether you are moving in the right direction or you are involved in Cryptojacking.
Cryptojacking-vs-cryptomining

Anonymous hackers use the process of cryptojacking by using your system without letting you know. These hackers use multiple complex mathematical codes that couldn’t be detected by any person, expect for those that have a fundamental knowledge about these programming codes.

So, is there any way to save your system from unknown Cryptojacking activities? Will find it out later but before that it is essential to understand how this Cryptojacking works in a real life.

How Does Cryptojacking Works

There are two core methods mainly used by crypto hackers to use your system to mine cryptocurrencies. So what are these two methods used by hackers for Cryptojacking?

1.  Loading Cryptojacking Codes in Your System via Email

This method is to trick users by injecting Cryptojacking codes into their systems, which is similar to phishing tactics. It means that in this method, a user will get a mail, which looks similar to an authentic email and is near to impossible to differentiate between the two.

So, due to close similarity in looks, it encourages the users to click on the link provided in these fake emails. The links contains a Cryptomining codes on your system. Now, these Cryptomining codes run in the background of your system as you use your system.

2.  Injected Various Scripts on Different Domains or Websites

Another method used by these hackers is through injecting a crypto script on different websites. So, when to go on that specific crypto script infected website or the infected banners, the crypto script starts executing automatically.

The major problem is in detecting whether these hackers use your system or not, because not a single crypto script is directly stored on your system. There is a possibility that hackers are using both methods on your system at the same time in a way to maximize their return.

For example, first, they deliver a deadly virus on your system via email. When you search for remedies to how to prevent this kind of virus, these hackers intelligently then inject crypto codes on the same site where you probably find a cure. It means these hackers use both methods to use your central system processor for mining cryptocurrencies.

cryptojacking-Scripts

Moreover, these crypto hackers are so intelligent that they may analyze your activities; whether you used email app frequently or love to go on new websites on a regular basis. In that way, they figure it out how they can maximize their return by using your system accordingly

3.  Hackers uses Browsing Mining Technique for Cryptojacking Purposes

The reason why browsing mining is one of the best technique for hackers to do Cryptojacking is that it doesn’t require any program to be installed for secretly mining cryptocurrency.

The browser mining can be done by writing a Cryptojacking script such as Javascript that enables the hackers to mine different cryptocurrencies due to its ability to use a part of victim’s system processing unit without letting them know.

According to Investopedia, the official incident of Cryptojacking comes into notice when a cybersecurity company “Panda,” wrote a Cryptojacking script by the name of “WannaMine” had rolled out to different systems randomly. This Cryptojacking script is used for mining of specific cryptocurrency known as “Monero.”

monero script

In short, browser mining is one of the best ways to do Cryptojacking and notably very much serious issue for users all around the world regarding privacy and data safety concerns. And this is also one of the reasons why Cryptojacking is not come under the umbrella of a legal way to mine cryptocurrency and how it could be when the person doesn’t know their system is using for mining purposes?

However, as per the digital marketing experts perspectives, browser mining technique has the groundbreaking potential to use it as a substitute of advertisement monetization, which could provide a way to recognized Cryptojacking process as a legal process.

Although, this kind of ideas seems to be very controversial as mining cryptocurrency on the systems which are not designated for mining purposes could lead to a substantial cost to users in the form of power consumption and damage to hardware.

However, these browser mining attacks are increasing exponentially, and still, there is no potential remedy except preventing tips and precaution which are discussed later in this blog.

How to Prevent Cryptojacking

According to our tech experts, here are some most amazing hacks to keep your system away from Cryptojacking:

Concentrate on Phishing Time Method On to Your System

In reality, illegal online activities like Cryptojacking are something that could not be resolved by a person who has very little knowledge about programming and coding.

Phishing means when someone attempts to obtain confidential information such as financial details, credit card number, etc. for malicious reasons via sending e-mails, which are similar too official emails. Moreover, this can also be done by showing ad banners on different websites.

So, when you click the link available in the malicious email sent by crypto hackers, from that moment these hackers get the access of your system to use it for Cryptojacking purposes.

To prevent this phishing attacks, always double check about the offer you received via email or ad banners by confirming through an official service provider.

VPN Protects You against Cryptojacking

VPN services have played a vital service to secure users online data and privacy. However, there is no doubt that some of the VPN services had failed to fulfill their commitment regarding no logging policy.

By using renowned VPN services, this might help you much to keep your system safe from these Cryptojacking activities. When you use a VPN, it keeps you secure from the eyes of Cryptojacking hackers as your original IP address cannot be seen. In this way, these hackers are unable to get the location of your system and failed to use it for Cryptomining purposes.

Ad blockers are very useful to Prevent Cryptojacking

As we already explained that Cryptojacking codes mainly injected through ads on different websites. Installing ad blockers on your system may help you in stopping these Cryptojacking activities.

Note: Most of the free version Adblocker apps failed to block effectively, or they offer to block ads on 1 to 5 websites at a time, which is not appropriate to use. For this, we recommend you to use the paid version of strong ad blockers available in the market.

Prevent-Cryptojacking

Use Endpoint Protection

Here endpoint protection means antiviruses that offer crypto mining detecting feature in their software. These antiviruses have one of the best features to protect your system from Cryptojacking activities.

However, according to our experts, there is very high chance that paid antiviruses to have the ability to detect these anonymous crypto mining activities, although hackers do change their technique to avoid detection at the endpoint.

Use Web Filtering Tools

By using web-filtering tools, it dramatically helps you detect those pages that contain Cryptojacking codes and scripts. In this way, you can protect yourself from being trapped by crypto hackers by clicking on ads presented on different websites.

Use Secure Browser Extensions

We know that these browser extensions provide some great features that not a single person does not want to use it. However, these browser extensions are one of the reasons that offer a path to the crypto hacker to use on your system for mining purposes without letting you know

So to keep your system safe from these crypto hackers, our tech expert recommend not to use every extension available online. Always try to read the precautions of the app before using it.

By using only secured extensions, the chance of keeping your system’s performance safe and secure will significantly increase.

Summing-Up

The challenges regarding Cryptojacking keep rising as these crypto hackers always find some ways to get access to our system without letting us know.

However, we think that we are also responsible for giving these hackers space to get access of our system due to laziness by not following precautions like using reliable software, apps, browser extensions, etc. This is one of the reasons how crypto hackers always find a way to use your system without letting you know.

We hope this guide would help you much to understand what Cryptojacking is and how to prevent it from your system.

But if you still find some confusion or want to share a valuable thought, feel free to contact us by shouting your comment below.

Salman Ahmed's Biography
Salman Ahmed Siddiqui is a passionate writer who loves to write about online privacy, crypto economy and trending technological developments. He loves to provide effective tips and guideline related to rising cyber challenges. When he is not writing, Salman watches Manchester United play and demonstrates his love for football with his mad FIFA skills.

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