What Is Cryptojacking – 5 Ways to Prevent It

The rise of cryptocurrencies started a race between different currency miners to generate crypto coins. Since these coins generated an incredible return, many crypto-miners started using illicit means to generate as much cryptocurrency as possible. As a result, cryptojacking became a constant threat for different users across the world.

Cryptojacking attacks reached their peak in 2017 as Symantec technologies reportedly blocked 8 million cryptojacking events in December 2017, alone. In 2018, the number of cases has decreased to 5 million cases, but to this day cryptojacking remains a threat for common users. In this article, we will explain what cryptojacking is and how you can remain safe by following 5 simple steps.

What Is Cryptojacking?

As the name suggests, Cryptojacking allows cybercriminals, hackers, to gain access to computing devices, hijack them, and use them for mining cryptocurrencies. Access to vast computational resources allows hackers to mine cryptocurrencies faster, at the expense of the victim. The victims bear the cost of mining cryptocurrency, whereas the hacker takes all the money earned from it.

Once a machine is infected, a harmful app will run silently in the background and use the machine’s computational power. Since there is no clear indication of the attack, victims often never know that they were attacked. The only real sign of cryptojacking is that the machine will become extremely slow and heat up too fast. These attacks degrade the machine’s life and hurt the victims financially.

How Can We Detect Cryptojacking?

You can detect cryptojacking by monitoring the memory consumption of your computer. If your computer has become extremely sluggish even when your applications are not consuming a lot of memory, then it’s most likely because of cryptojacking.

Likewise, if your laptop is making loud whirring noises or the battery is draining faster than usual, you should get your device checked by an expert. Overheating without any apparent might also be another sign of cryptojacking.

5 Ways to Prevent Cryptojacking

Train Your IT Team

You should train your IT team to understand and detect cryptojacking. By monitoring the machine for initial signs of an attack, they can take action promptly.

Educate Your Employees

Some cryptojacking malware is so powerful that it renders your machine useless before you can call an expert in. This is why your employees should be the first line of defense against cryptojacking. They should report to your IT team whenever your computer is running extremely slow. They should also refrain from clicking on dubious links in emails or downloading from unknown websites. All these things apply to all their devices, as well.

Use Anti-Cryptomining Extensions

In many cases, cryptojacking scripts are embedded in web browsers. Fortunately, some browser extensions such as Anti Miner, No Coin, and minerBlock can block crypto miners across the web.

Use Ad-Blockers

Web ads are also a common source for downloading cryptojacking scripts. By using an ad-blocker, you can identify and block malicious crypto-mining code.

Disable JavaScript

If you’re only browsing online, you can opt to disable JavaScript on your machine. Although it blocks many functions you need while browsing, it will also protect your device, as well as any cryptocurrency you keep in the device.

Using the tips and guidelines mentioned here, you can prevent cryptojacking attacks more effectively and protect your business and cryptocurrency.