Sep 04, 2020

Detecting & Preventing Cryptojacking

Category: Cyber

In the last decade, cryptocurrency trading and investing has seen a boom in interest. Everyone from angel investors to first-time traders are getting in on cryptocurrencies, putting their money and their trust behind the future of finances. However, while this is an exciting time to invest in things like Bitcoin, it doesn’t come without controversy. Cryptojacking, also known as cryptomining, has become an emergent online threat that attacks cryptocurrencies on computers and mobile devices. This hacking method uses a machine’s resources to mine forms of online money, or cryptocurrency. It can take over website browsers, target small cryptocurrency farms, and compromise all kinds of electronic devices in the process.

To no surprise, the main motive behind these cybersecurity attacks is profit. But unlike many other cybersecurity threats, it’s designed to try and stay completely undetected amongst cryptocurrency users. But detection tools are quickly being developed in order to protect companies and computer networks from falling victim to cryptojacking attacks and the cryptojackers responsible for them.

Here’s a close look at cryptojacking and how to detect and prevent it from making a lasting mark on those putting their money and their trust online.

What is Cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking has seen a significant rise in activity in recent years as it presents an easy way for cybercriminals to make free money without having to overdo it on their interaction online; it’s low-effort and high-reward for them.

Hackers can simply hijack someone else’s machine–be it a Smartphone or tablet or laptop–with only a few code lines and get away unnoticed. This ends up leaving the targeted company or individual left open by not only losing cryptocurrency but having to pick up the pieces and restore its computer networks.

How Does Cryptojacking Work?

A popular way that cryptojacking attacks work is through malicious emails that can install cryptomining code on a computer system, such as ransomware, phishing or malware. The victim on the receiving end gets a harmless-looking email with a link or attachment included in it, and when they click on it or download the attachment, it runs a code that downloads the cryptomining script on the computer. From there, the script works in the background without the victim knowing it’s taking place.

Another way that cryptojacking can be executed is through web browser mining. In this method, hackers inject cryptomining script on a website or in an ad that is placed throughout multiple websites. When the victim ends up visiting the infected site, or if a malicious ad comes up in the browser, the script automatically takes over. In either of these methods, the code solves intricate math problems and sends the results to the hacker’s network server while the victim is still unaware.

How to Detect and Prevent Cryptojacking

Like any other kind of cyber infection or cyberattack, there are some important things to look out for when using the web, especially for cryptocurrency trading or investing purposes. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • High processor usage on your device
  • Sluggish or unusually slow response times
  • Overheating of your device

In addition to using cybersecurity software and being more educated on the topic of cryptojacking attacks, companies can also install ad-blocking extensions that keep cryptomining at bay.

These web extensions can be added to browsers for an added layer of defense and peace of mind. As always, it’s important to look out for phishing and spam emails that come through as well as malicious links, unknown attachments, and strange subject lines.

About Tangram Insurance Services

Located across the Golden Gate Bridge, just outside of San Francisco, Tangram Insurance Services is a full-service Managing General Underwriter and Program Manager offering specialty programs. We focus on industry-relevant coverage, competitive pricing, and practical business and risk management solutions for your clients. Since we are not all things to all people, we make sure to create outstanding custom-built solutions that matter to those businesses, and the brokers who serve those industries. Contact us at (888) 744-9810.