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January 14, 2022

Signs your device may be mining crypto without your knowledge

by Brett Muscio in Uncategorized

The sudden growth in cryptocurrencies attracted many cybercriminals. They keep inventing new methods to steal cryptos, and crypto-jacking is one of them.

Cryptojacking is the illegal use of your devices to mine cryptocurrencies. They can hack into any device, from computers to mobile phones. Hackers use your resources to illegally mine cryptos and then transfer those into their wallets. Learn more about crypto-jacking and protect yourself against cyberscams

Ways to detect crypto-jacking

The hackers mine cryptos using your device’s power, which reduces your device’s performance and racks up a huge electricity bill. Below are some indications to determine if you’re being crypto-jacked:

  • Slowed down devices: A decrease in the performance of your device is the first sign of crypto-jacking. A crypto-jacked device works harder than it should, and hence, runs slow.
  • Exceptionally high CPU usage: Check your task manager or activity monitor to detect any spike in the CPU usage. A high CPU speed even when everything is closed is a sign of malware running behind the scenes.
  • Overheated fan or battery: Cryptojacking consumes a lot of resources putting additional pressure on the device’s hardware components. Another sign of crypto-jacking is if your device’s fan or battery is overheated more often.
  • Monitor your browser: Cryptojackers can create tiny pop-up browser windows that can easily go unnoticed. They usually hide it behind your start button or toolbar to keep your resources at work even when you have closed your browser.
  • Increased cloud bills: Hackers are good at phishing your cloud login credentials. They can then put those resources to use for illegal mining, resulting in increased bills.

Tips to avoid crypto-jacking

Cryptojacking is a popular cybercrime mainly because it poses fewer risks than traditional hacking methods. Cybercriminals can easily obtain ready-made software online and deploy it on your device. It goes unnoticed for a long time and when discovered it’s difficult to trace it back to the hacker. Hence, it’s important to remember the following to avoid being crypto-jacked:

  • Education and training: Educate your employees on all the signs of crypto-jacking. Also, train your IT team to detect crypto-jacking and then take relevant steps quickly.
  • Keep an eye on trends: Inform yourself about the changing trends in cryptocurrency. Be aware of new forms of cyber attacks to take better precautions.
  • Leverage ad-blockers and anti-crypto mining extensions: Cryptojacking scripts are most often embedded in web browsers and ads. These will help you by identifying and blocking any possible threat.
  • Timely scans: Perform regular malware scans to detect any crypto-jacking happening in the background.

Takeaway

Cryptojacking is a relatively new form of cyberattack and it’s worth reading about. It has the potential of harming your business earnings and may pose a threat to your privacy as well. Whether you are interested in cryptocurrency or not, you can still become its victim.

As the saying goes, “precaution is better than cure,” it’s always better to adopt tactics to save yourself from any potential cyber threat.

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