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Cryptojacking 101: Definition, Detection, Prevention

Cryptojacking 101: Definition, Detection, Prevention

When working on your personal or business computer, you may not be thinking about the possibility of hackers. However, with the recent rise in the use of cryptocurrency comes a silent threat: cryptojacking. Cryptojacking occurs when a hacker steals power from a computer or other device and uses the power to mine cryptocurrency. This can happen to any electronic device — including computers, tablets and mobile phones— and it largely goes undetected. It is important to be educated on how to recognize this form of hacking and prevent it from happening.

How Can I Become a Victim of Cryptojacking?

One way a hacker may force a cryptojack attack is by tricking the user to load cryptomining software onto his or her own computer. This software can come in the form of phishing emails, which are legitimate-looking messages that encourage the user to click on a link. The cryptomining script is then loaded onto the user’s laptop or desktop and silently runs in the background. Another common form of attack is cryptomining software that is embedded through scripts in websites and runs on a victim’s browser, such as JavaScript advertisements with malicious code.

Avoid the Consequences of Cryptojacking Malware

Cryptojacking may seem like an innocuous or benign threat,considering a hacker is not aiming to steal information or damage your device. However, the consequences of becoming a cryptojacking target can be costly. It can cause an increase in energy bills, shorten the life of a hacked device and decrease a device’s efficiency. Watch for evidence of an overworking system, including decreased performance or overheating of your computer.These can be indicators of a cryptojacking infection. Consult the accompanying infographic for more signs of this malware, as well as prevention tips.

Author bio:

Michael J. Mask is the Vice President of Services & Sales for Aqueity, an IT company in the Chicago area. Michael has 20+ years of experience in the IT and Risk Management industries with a focus on helping clients optimize their IT investments.




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