As netizens [citizens of the web], you probably know about computer viruses and hacking incidents. The new technology and market development have contributed to new forms of cyber-attacks and cryptojacking is one of them. These are often more difficult to detect and handle.
Once the crypto-mining code is installed on the victim’s computer, it discreetly runs in the background without the user’s consent. The only sign that you may get is that your PC speeds start to reduced or it becomes sluggish. The main reason why this form has become popular with hackers is that they can more easily gain access to vulnerable systems and mine these digital currencies at a lower risk.
Tips to Prevent Cryptojacking
1. Use of Web browser ad-blocking extensions Tools
Cybercriminals are injecting all kinds of mining scripts via extensions. Browser extensions are a way to improve the user experience. Self-executing code, as embedded in ads and websites, is much harder to spot. Installing ad-blocking extensions in web browsers is a powerful way to prevent web-based cryptojacking through ads. There are browser extensions such as MinerBlock and NoCoin that are able to detect and block crypto-mining scripts in websites and ads.
2. Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions
Cryptojacking is not limited to big screens, as mobile devices are also under the radar of crypto miners. Despite their low computing power, they are referred to as a considerably safe environment for miners as their ecosystem has low monitoring. There are some good mobile device management (MDM) solutions like Wandera that help users manage all their applications and extensions on their devices, minimizing the risk of hacker attacks.
3. Update! Update! Update!
Systems updates are very helpful in escaping any kind of system infiltrations by hackers. Some of these scripts are not the actual viruses, but the piece of software that aids in downloading such harmful scripts in your system. By keeping your system software, antiviruses, and OS up-to-date, these malicious scripts can be tracked and blocked before they enter your system.
4. Cross check Familiar Email
If you received an email from a friend or familiar address, make sure that the address is valid. Phishing attackers used similar email addresses to deceive users. By tapping on more information, you can check the originating email. Remember that anonymous email from a prince or lottery email. These are all examples of phishing attempts used by cryptojackers to install infected scripts in your system. Be careful not to open any unexpected attachments or links in emails.
5. Avoid Downloading Suspicious Extensions
Extensions are the potential resource of cryptojacking scripts. As there are hundreds of new extensions added every day in the chrome library making it hard to detect the culprits among them. With the simple submission process, anyone with technical knowledge can add suspicious scripts to the library. In some cases, hackers managed to infect legitimate extensions as well, so it is advised to keep your extension up to date and use filtering tools.
6. Don’t download or visit unknown Sites
Pirated content is widely available online, but its usage comes at a cost, and there are chances of hidden scripts in pdf, videos, and other files that may release the infected script on your system and use your system resources to mine.
When downloading something make sure the site you are on is the official website. Cryptomining scripts are widely used to target visitors on adult sites. You may think going incognito or now downloading anything from such sites protect you and your system, but this is not true. Many adult sites are used to install such script without you knowing while a user attempt to bypass ads on these sites a piece of software enters in your system. The best is to avoid visiting or downloading content from untrusted sites.
7. System Vigilance
Cryptojackers are always looking to find vulnerabilities and being vigilant towards your daily used devices and networks is helpful in cutting out any such activities. If you witness an unexpected hike in your system resource usage (CPU, GPU, temperature). These are the potential signs that your system is compromised. With early identification, you can easily block such resources, but this is only possible through vigilance.
It is anticipated that hackers will keep on finding new and innovative approaches to run mining codes on unauthorized devices. It is important to learn and adapt to better understand how attackers have gained access to these systems and to consistently prepare the best ways to recognize and sufficiently react to rising cryptojacking dangers.
About the Author: Salman Ahmed Siddiqui
Salman Ahmed Siddiqui is a passionate writer who loves to write about online privacy, crypto economy and trending technological developments. When he is not writing, Salman watches Manchester United play and demonstrates his love for football with his mad FIFA skills.