Cryptojacking: Protecting Your Digital Assets from Unauthorized Mining
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We are living in a world where threats are constant and malicious people are just waiting for the right occasion to strike, especially in the world of cryptocurrency, which is well known for scams, cyberattacks, and many other threats.

This article will be about the cryptojacking definition, how to detect it, and how to protect yourself from it.

What is Cryptojacking?

What is the cryptojacking meaning? Cryptojacking comes from two words: cryptocurrency and hijacking. In simple words, it is the action of hacking someone's computer or device and using it for mining crypto. The hacker installs malware that, without good antivirus, will not even be detected.

The process of mining on himself is entirely legal and ethical. However, crypto jacking is done in secret without acceptance from the device owners making it completely illegal.

How Does Cryptojacking Work?

The crypto jacking attack happens in multiple steps, but the first one is the most challenging, which is infecting the target device. Let's see in detail how this attack occurs:

  • Infection: The hacker will try to make you download hidden malware inside software or other things, or it can also be hidden inside a website, and just the fact of visiting it and clicking on it can infect you. These are the traditional methods, but you also have the fishing attacks that will make you click on links that you will receive in the form of fake emails or messages manipulating you to click somewhere.

  • Execution: Once the device is infected, the hackers can start the process of mining that will use the CPU and the GPU to mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

  • Mining: This process, as I said before, is legal; it consists of giving your computer to the blockchain to resolve mathematical problems in exchange for rewards in the form of the crypto you are mining. This process is crucial for the correct operation of the crypto. Because it helps make the transactions safer and faster. If you want to know more about mining, you can read our previous article: Crypto Mining: What You Need to Know About the World of Cryptocurrency Mining.

  • Profit: The mined cryptocurrency is sent to the hacker's wallet, making him gain financial benefits. And causing various damages for the victim, which can be high electricity bills and damage to the device's CPU or GPU.

How Do You Detect Cryptojacking?

To detect crypto jacking, the most popular method is using an antivirus such as Kaspersky or Bitdefender, and also the use of antimalware software such as Malwarebytes or others. These tools will not only help you protect yourself but can act as detectors too.

The second method you can use to detect crypto jacking is to monitor your computer or device performance; you just need to turn on your computer without using any software, wait a bit, and start checking the performance. If you notice unusual use of CPU or GPU, it is possible that you got infected.

The third method is to monitor your network performance, similar to the second, but here, in place of performance, you monitor your network for any unusual outgoing web traffic. Cryptojacking scripts often communicate with a remote server to deliver mined cryptocurrency or receive mining instructions.

Protecting Your Digital Assets from Cryptojacking

How Prevalent is Cryptojacking?

The statistics from SonicWall show that the reported Cryptojacking incidents increased by 399% in the first half of 2023 in North and Latina America, and Europe, and it didn't only touch ordinary people. Still, also Industries such as retail, finance, healthcare, government, and education reported significant rises in cryptojacking incidents.

How Do I Protect Myself From Cryptojacking?

Now that we have seen how to detect crypto jacking, let's talk about cryptojacking protection. Here are the main strategies that you can apply right now:

  • Ad-Blockers and Anti-Cryptojacking Extensions: Instaling these two extensions on your browser will considerably reduce the risk of getting infected by visiting online websites, and some extensions will also help you detect them and block them before they infect you.

  • Software Update: Regularly update your operating system, browser, and any installed plugins. Developers often release security patches that fix vulnerabilities that cryptojackers could exploit.

  • Antivirus and Antimalware Software: Use strong antivirus and antimalware software, but before downloading them, make sure to do research about the best ones and avoid downloading unknown softwares.

  • Phishing Attempts: Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources, as these can contain cryptojacking malware.

  • Network Security Tools: For organizations, employing network monitoring tools can help detect unusual activity that may indicate cryptojacking. Firewalls and intrusion detection systems can also prevent the execution of unauthorized mining scripts.

  • Device Performance: Be alert to any unusual decrease in your device’s performance or overheating, as these can be signs of unauthorized cryptocurrency mining.

Thank you for reading this article that was about what is crypto jacking. We hope you enjoyed it. Please leave us a comment below and tell us whether you have already faced a hack or you have fallen into this kind of situation.

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