cryptocurrencyWhat is Cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking is a new-comer in the world of digital threats, and is the term that is being used to describe the act of using a device (be it phone or computer system) without the owner’s knowledge to mine cryptocurrency (for example: Bitcoins). Repurposing someone else’s system isn’t a new trick in the realm of cyber threats - after all, trojans, worms, viruses, and other such threats have existed for years - but the latest development in the cryptojacking scene has added a new wrinkle to the formula. Mainly, the “bad guys” don’t even need to install anything on your system now to exploit them!

How does it work?

Traditionally a cryptojacker would have sneak an application onto an end-user system the old-fashioned way (via an installer, having you click a bogus link, etc.) before they could hijack your system’s processing power to mine their desired currency. Lately we have seen a rise in web-based, in browser cryptojacking. This “drive by cryptojacking,” as it is sometimes called, relies on JavaScript to enable mining scripts and only requires that the end user visits/loads a web page that has been compromised to start the process.

How can I protect my system?

Since cryptojacking’s sudden rise in popularity this past fall, many adblocking plugin and malware/anti-virus protection software have been updated to detect and block malicious mining attempts – so make sure your preferred software is up to date! Additionally, if Chrome is your primary browser, you can install a plug-in specifically for blocking browser-based mining attempts. If all else fails, we can manually monitor our systems. If it seems like extra fans are spinning up/getting louder, or that your system suddenly seems less responsive while visiting certain web pages, there’s a chance your system resources are being subverted. Fortunately, since in-browser cyrptojacking requires us to be looking at the page serving use the mining scripts via JavaScript, we can simply navigate away from the page, or close the browser/tab with the suspected website, to eliminate the problem.

Is your computer protected? Contact CTTS TODAY at (512) 388-5559 and mention this blog post and we'll give your business a FREE Cybersecuirty Assessment (A $497 Value).



By Brandon Kaylor
Desktop Support Technician
Central Texas Technology Solutions