This is a complete guide to Cryptojacking in 2022

What is cryptojacking?

The cybercrime landscape is constantly evolving. Cryptojacking is the latest trend that has created much buzz. Within a year, it has grown threefold, and the cases are constantly on the rise. Undoubtedly cybercriminals are thriving, but it has made ordinary users contemplate cybersecurity platform that can provide them enhanced security.  

What is cryptojacking?  

Cryptocurrencies are attracting more investors each passing day. This has further propelled the malicious cryptojacking activity. In cryptojacking, cybercriminals mine crypto coins through hacked computers. In simpler terms, hijackers use someone’s machine, processing power, battery life and memory to mine cryptocurrency.  

This adversely impacts the device’s performance and exposes it to insecure networks, putting device data at greater risk. In some cases, it exhausts devices to reduce their lifespan. It is like using the neighbour’s electricity connection to light up your own home.  

Therefore, the need for a robust cybersecurity platform has arisen that can protect devices against such illegitimate use. 

How does cryptojacking work? 

Monero is the most popular cryptocurrency among cybercriminals for particular reasons: 

  1. Cryptojacking is used predominantly for mining Monero. 
  1. Monero can be mined on computers with ordinary CPUs, unlike bitcoin, the king of cryptocurrency. 
  1. Being a privacy-oriented coin, Monero is difficult to track in crypto wallets. 

Earlier, miners used to work individually on computer systems, but as time passed, they realized that the mining process deteriorated the machine’s performance. So now, they have prepared a strategy to mine Monero on multiple compromised devices, sacrificing someone else’s device for their benefit.  

Cybercriminals specifically target a company’s data centre or local area network for Monero mining. This way, they have the processing power of thousands of systems at their command.  

Botnets are the culprit

It has been observed that cryptojacking is facilitated through botnets that target vulnerabilities in internet-connected systems. This includes web servers, VPN gateways and even platforms that deliver cloud applications.  

How to detect crypto mining malware

Deteriorated system performance or overheating are some of the most common symptoms of crypto mining malware. However, being common in nature, they can be overlooked quite easily. If you encounter any of the below-mentioned situations, you should start investigating into possibilities of cryptojacking: 

  • Slow or deteriorated system performance 
  • Overheating 
  • Sharp increase in CPU usage without any reason  
  • If something in the system changes on its own  

What to do when crypto mining is detected? 

  • In the case of in-browser JavaScript attacks, immediately kill the browser tab running the script. Note the website URL. You can block it by updating the company’s web filters. Several anti-crypto mining tools can help you prevent attacks of this nature in future.  
  • Sometimes, the browser is infected by an extension. Even after closing the tab, the problem will not be resolved in such a situation. Remove unrequired extensions and update all the extensions. 
  • Think from the attacker’s perspective and find the loose ends that might help him hijack your system.  
  • Introduce advanced cybersecurity tools such as the NewEvol platform to provide 360-degree protection to your system.  
Krunal Medapara

Krunal Mendapara is the Chief Technology Officer, responsible for creating product roadmaps from conception to launch, driving the product vision, defining go-to-market strategy, and leading design discussions.

August 31, 2022

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