Who Are Cryptojackers and How to Protect Yourself From Them
Cryptojackers didn’t come out of anywhere, but they are quite new to most people, and the term might sound unfamiliar. Before jumping to conclusions about them let see what gave them birth. Of course, the cryptocurrencies did. By now, you know that virtual currencies such as Bitcoin or Monero are gaining popularity. These cryptocurrencies are protected by cryptography as their name suggests. Today you can buy them, mine them, or trade for them. Thanks to heavy hardware and software they’re running all over the place, and are considered as a new stock market commodity. The earnings regarding these currencies can vary and it all comes down to the number of transactions ongoing. This is how miners earn their share. Of course, when there are hard-working people, there are those who try to take advantage of their hard work. This brings us to the subject of today’s article. Let’s see who are cryptojackers and how to protect yourself from them.
The Definition of Cryptojackers
It is an interesting term, and the first time anyone hears it, the question pops out – who are they? Cryptojackers are hackers whose only intent to use crypto mining scripts on other person’s computers and take advantage of them, and their hardware without anyone’s consent. You can come in contact with them if you visit an infected website, download an app that has this script, or install certain plugins. When the script starts working the cryptojackers will be using your bandwidth, electric power, and computing power for their mining purposes. In some cases, these scripts we download are for our benefit, but those installed without our consent or knowing anything are considered malware.
The Rise Of Cryptojacking
Unfortunately, cryptojackers managed to rise to power rather quickly. It is estimated that more than 500 million computers are infected by their malware. According to AdGuard, who wrote and blog post about the subject you have over 200 million websites that use mining scripts on their users. It is no wonder we have that many infected computers and that number keeps growing. When you see that these scripts can start running on your device by simply using a plug-in, it’s no wonder there’s that much-hidden mining going on. Unfortunately, cryptojacking is now everywhere and many mobile apps have these scripts tied to them, together with many WordPress plugins that today even hide within platforms thus bug. Luckily, not everything is dark. There are ways you can protect yourself from malware like this. Let’s dig into this subject.
How To Protect Yourself
As we said, there are ways to protect yourself. By now you should know, that when there’s an attack there ought to be a defense. Here’s what you can do for yourself.
* The first thing that signals the presence of a crytpojacker is the behavior of your device. If you visit a shady website and then notice that your computer is a bit sluggish and is running slower than usual it is a sign of cryptojacking. The first step of protection starts on your computer, beware of the websites you are visiting. Many sites that look official are also birds of prey in the crypt world.
* So, now you know that danger is almost everywhere, but we’re not suggesting you should quit browsing. Instead, you should stay away from shady websites. When we say shady we are talking about adults themed sites. According to the Bleeping Computer, almost half of all cryptojacking scripts can be found at adult content websites. Other places where you can also get infected include pirating sites that offer various media for download, and of course, the dark web if you even go there.
* Be careful about the apps you are using. The danger can come from shady add-ons, plugins, and various other applications that your computer might need. You will be in a situation to download many things over time so be careful about them. Read what you’re downloading and pay attention to the following matters:
– Good reviews
– The number of downloads
– Regular updates
– The trustworthiness of software
– Look out for reports of cryptojacking
What To Do If You Suspect Your Device Has Been Cyberjacked
It all comes down to the type of infection. The crypto attack needs to be viewed as a disease. The first thing you need to do is to search for the source. The most common ones are websites, browser add-ons, CMS plugins, and mobile apps. When you discover the source, here’s what you can do:
– If it is a website, you should close the browser, restart the computer, and never visit the site again.
– Add-ons scripts need to be shut down by deactivating and uninstalling the add-on.
– Mobile apps are similar. You need to delete and uninstall it from your device.
After finding the source of cryptojacking you shouldn’t remain silent. Please report the problem to the authorities.
As we said, cryptojacking is a new plague on the web, and it will only get worse. Since 2017 the number of malware kept growing. The mining script Coinhive was responsible for the inception of cryptojacking as its software was used for malpractice and the creation of many cryptojacking scripts. This wasn’t done on purpose by the creators of Coinhive, so to make things right they created a new version called AuthedMine which offers more protection. This is seen as quite an improvement, but it doesn’t mean that the old version disappeared. It is still out there and the cryptojackers are using it full throttle. Authed Mine requires the user to opt-in from their device which wasn’t the case with its predecessor. In the future, we could see the birth of websites that offer you the option to lend them your power for mining. But, for now, many of them take advantage of the user without consent. Before we see changes in this department you need to look out for yourself. While there’s danger lurking everywhere, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue your crypto dream. There are numerous legitimate websites such as bitcoinprofitpro.com that can offer you a fair start in the world of digital currencies.