What is cryptojacking: What is Cryptojacking? Identifiers & Prevention Tips

What is cryptojacking

What is cryptojacking

When it continues for a longer period, the average lifespan of the device decreases. However, this is not the obvious sign of a cryptojacking attack as overheating is the outcome of multiple reasons. Hence, one has to delve deeper and look at other obvious cryptojacking related behaviors. Once the code is generated correctly by the malicious actor, it’s embedded directly in multiple web pages of separate sites. The script is 100% automatic and doesn’t require any manual handling.

What is cryptojacking

Unlike traditional currencies, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin aren’t backed by a specific government or bank. There is no government oversight or central regulator of cryptocurrency. It is decentralized and managed in multiple duplicate databases simultaneously across a network of millions of computers that belong to no one person or organization. What’s more, the cryptocurrency database functions as a digital ledger. It uses encryption to control the creation of new coins and verify the transfer of funds.

Programmes called ‘coin miners’ are then used by the criminal to create, or ‘mine’, cryptocurrencies. Cryptojacking is where cybercriminals secretly use a victim’s computing power to generate cryptocurrency. Cryptojacking might seem like a relatively harmless crime since the only thing ‘stolen’ is the power of the victim’s computer.

Cryptojacking malware can strain a computer’s hardware, cause it to overheat, and might shorten its lifespan. In addition, having malware installed on a computer can leave it vulnerable to other attacks. Identify an event and understand the attack vector.The increased use of legitimate tools and fileless attacks makes this difficult. API Security – Automated API protection ensures your API endpoints are protected as they are published, shielding your applications from exploitation. Instruct your IT team—IT staff should be trained to detect and understand cryptojacking. They must be aware of any initial signs of an attack and be prepared to respond immediately with a further investigation.

Cloud Cryptojacking

Using dynamic threat analysis, machine-learned behavioral whitelisting, integrity controls and nano-segmentation, Aqua enables modern application security protection across the lifecycle. Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of someone’s computer to mine cryptocurrency. This is typically done by installing malware on the victim’s computer that uses their processing power to mine cryptocurrency without their knowledge or consent. Cryptojacking refers to when a computer is controlled by a cryptocurrency miner and used to generate cryptocurrency.

Or users’ phones can be redirected to an infected site, which leaves a persistent pop-under. While individual phones have relatively limited processing power, when attacks occur in large numbers, they provide enough collective strength to justify the cryptojackers’ efforts. It presents a cyber threat and employs the resources of the hacked device to mine cryptocurrencies for the attackers. There is usually a cloud of anonymity around cryptojacking, meaning that unlike with other forms of cyber and crypto fraud, victims sometimes never learn they have been compromised. Cryptojacking doesn’t typically affect an individual’s crypto balances; it just focuses on mining new units.

What is cryptojacking

Use ad blockers—consider using a reputable ad blocker to protect against drive-by cryptojacking attacks that use online ads or popups. FaceXWorm does not only hijack a user’s device to mine cryptocurrency. When users try to log in to certain sites, such as Google or MyMonero, their credentials are hijacked, and they are redirected to fake platforms that require the user to pay cryptocurrency. As part of this process, the worm leverages the user’s credentials to transfer large amounts of cryptocurrency to the attackers. FaceXWorm uses social engineering to trick Facebook Messenger users into clicking fake YouTube links. In addition, it deploys the FaceXWorm malware and starts mining cryptocurrency on their device.

Cryptojackers target victims’ computing resources to offload the mining expenses to as many entities as possible. Cybercriminals are constantly modifying code and coming up with new delivery methods to embed updated scripts onto your computer system. Being proactive and staying on top of the latest cybersecurity threats can help you detect cryptojacking on your network and devices and avoid other types of cybersecurity threats. Cryptojacking can even infect Android mobile devices, using the same methods that target desktops.

How to detect Cryptojacking

If you or anyone else makes a complaint about slow computers at work, it might be a cue to have them checked out. This is often overlooked because most people expect their computers to age and need refreshing, but it could also be a cryptojacking symptom. As soon as the target visits the infected URL, his device auto-downloads the inserted code and supports hackers in cryptojacking unintentionally. Crytomining refers to the computing process that makes cryptocurrency exchange possible. It usually concerns adding cryptocurrency transactions to the Blockchain ledger and revising the information. Upon success solving the given equations, hackers are endowed with cryptocurrencies that can be used to trade virtually, buy other cryptocurrencies, or get exchanged with traditional money.

And while Bitcoin and Ethereum are the most well-known coins, there are actually over 18,000 cryptocurrencies in circulation. Initially created as an alternative to traditional currencies, crypto gained traction in global markets for being anonymous, as well as for its potential to grow. Make Cryptojacking Part of Your Training – Helping users recognize phishing-type attempts will reduce the number of local infections. This requires ongoing diligence with each new batch of employees along with retraining for seasoned staff. Learn what LDAP Injection is, how it can affect your site/application, or how you can prevent it.

Who is more at risk of being targeted for cryptojacking attacks?

As the primary step of cryptomining, hackers start cracking the complicated algorithms. A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography and is difficult to counterfeit. “Now even YouTube serves ads with CPU-draining cryptocurrency miners”. This removes known exploits that attackers can use to plant malicious software on your systems. Aqua’s full lifecycle security approach provides coverage for all clouds and platforms, integrating with enterprises’ existing infrastructure and the cloud native ecosystem.

In 2018, the publication Salon partnered with Coinhive’s developers to mine monero using visitors’ browsers as a way of monetizing the outlet’s content when faced with adblockers. Several reports of employees or students using university or research computers to mine bitcoins have been published. The number of supported devices allowed under your plan are primarily for personal or household use only. If you have issues adding a device, please contact Member Services & Support. Develop and maintain a strong monitoring and security strategy using good monitoring tools (if you’re an organization).

Fans in infected devices run faster than usual, or batteries may overheat if a cryptojacking script is taxing the processor of an infected device. Existing websites can be compromised through programmatic advertising, which contains malware that automatically places ads on sites. This is done without website owners’ knowledge, and they have little control over whether their site runs the software. Kaspersky Internet Security received two AV-TEST awards for the best performance & protection for an internet security product in 2021. In all tests Kaspersky Internet Security showed outstanding performance and protection against cyberthreats. You can use specialized browser extensions to block cryptojackers across the web, such as minerBlock, No Coin, and Anti Miner.

Digital currency (e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum) that can be used in exchange for goods, services, and even real money. Mining involves using a computer to solve complex, encrypted math equations in return for a piece of cryptocurrency. It’s hard to explain how cryptocurrencies gain monetary value; however, it is based in part on the principle of supply and demand, and the difficulty of obtaining the cryptocurrency.

How to prevent cryptojacking

Some other utterly renowned cryptocurrencies are Zcash, Ethereum, and Monero. The Mist browser was an Ethereum network interface intended for non-technical users who wanted to create dApps and use a crypto wallet. “WannaMine – new cryptocurrency malware exposes failings of traditional anti-virus tools.” Accessed Nov. 29, 2020. In 2021, multiple zero-day vulnerabilities were found on Microsoft Exchange servers, allowing remote code execution.

Best Practices for Detecting and Preventing Cryptojacking Attacks

We already know what cryptojacking is – at least the dictionary’s interpretation. From a philosophical point of view – infected systems sponsor organized crime. Not the case with other types of fraud like ransomware, for example. Bitcoin debuted in 2009 and would grow to become one of the most successful cryptocurrencies.

The modern cryptojacking attack does not focus solely on mining cryptocurrency. Instead, cybercriminals leverage their access to accomplish multiple goals, such as combining cryptojacking and data theft. These combined attacks provide cybercriminals with multiple methods to monetize their exploits.

Cryptojacking malware can lead to slowdowns and crashes due to straining of computational resources. Companies may be more susceptible to attackers because they have the resources available to generate a good profit in a short period of time. Knowing this, it’s important for security teams to have a monitoring platform that can index logs, then correlate and fire alerts anytime it sees signs of problems like cryptojacking. This can be achieved by trending server utilization over time and establishing a baseline or expected value, then alerting anytime the real value falls outside of the expected value. Another example of cryptojacking occurred in 2017 when the official website of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission was hacked by embedding some rogue javascript in the comment section so that it would use visitors’ computers to mine cryptocurrency.

Most anti-malware programs detect cryptomining malware right from its entry point. However, this alerted their targets of the cryptomining malware, since it rendered the systems inoperable. A few years ago, when cryptojacking was still in its infancy, cybercriminals used to take over all of a system’s resources to mine cryptocurrency. You can check out what portions of your CPU are being used in the Activity Monitor or Task Manager. Be sure to look out for spikes that don’t make any sense, such as increased usage on a website with little content.