Mallory leveraged an exploit on Alicia’s mining rig to break into her system. Once inside, Mallory deployed malware that swapped Alicia’s private key for Mallory’s own private key. So, since that attack, Alicia’s rig has been mining coins for Mallory — while Alicia has been paying the electricity costs. Relying on the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency to bask in her riches.
WinstarNssMiner infected more than half million systems over the course of three days in May 2018. When this cryptojacker detects effective anti-virus software on its target machine, it stays dormant, activating itself only on systems with weaker defenses. Worse, if you try to remove WinstarNssMiner, it crashes the infected system. Cryptojacking is a very new development in the still evolving landscape of digital currency. It will take some time for developers and interested parties to establish how to use currency mining to everyone’s benefit, and to develop methods of protection against those who seek to exploit unwilling participants for profit. The third way is that cryptocurrency mining could potentially become a revenue stream for your business.
Risks Associated With Crypto Mining
The decentralized operation of many cryptocurrencies (which we shall outline shortly) make it possible for transacting parties to exchange value independently of central financial institutions such as banks and clearing houses. As part of the regular cybersecurity training, educate your staff to let IT know when their computers are overheating or running slowly. Cybercriminals continuously modify code and come up with new ways to embed those updated scripts onto your computers.
What happens during cryptojacking?
Cryptojacking is a cybercrime in which another party's computing resources are hijacked to mine cryptocurrency. Cryptojacking, which is also referred to as malicious cryptomining, lets hackers mine cryptocurrency without paying for electricity, hardware and other mining resources.
Cryptocurrency has existed for only around a decade at this point in time and is still considered to be in its infancy. As with any financial system however, it has already attracted significant attention from those looking to “get rich quick”, whether by fair means or foul. Due to the unique paradigm on which it is based, many of the methods used to try and exploit the system for financial gain are peculiar to cryptocurrency, rather than threats that also face traditional financial systems. One such activity that has garnered significant attention is that of “cryptojacking”, a technique for generating a profit via cryptocurrency that is at least ethically questionable, and very often criminal, in nature.
Monero, the official crypto-currency cryptocurrency
In cryptojacking, cybercriminals infect computers and mobile devices with malware in order to use their computing power to generate cryptocurrencies. It’s also a problem because cryptocurrency mining are not the only malicious scripts that can be run in the background. Scripts can be used to deliver malware to computers or redirect traffic to other websites, or force ads to be displayed. These sorts of scripts can be very dangerous, for both businesses and website users.
Using a modern endpoint security solution is another way to stay one step ahead of the many cybersecurity challenges we face. In addition to hacking larger operations with robust hardware, cryptojackers benefit from hacking devices on the network of a small business. Especially if security is lacking, the mining software can quickly spread undetected. The actual process of secure cryptocurrency transactions is a resource-intensive process using encrypted wallets and keys. Also, every time a cryptocurrency transaction occurs, the blockchain must be time-stamped and updated to verify the authenticity of the information. The primary reason for this is CPU-friendliness – while Bitcoin’s mining algorithm requires a specialised ASIC setup and significant computing power, Monero can be mined using any computer or smartphone.
How to recognise a cryptocurrency mining attack?
Cryptojacking is the process of unauthorized mining for cryptocurrencies. Cybercriminals mine for Bitcoins using victims’ computers (typically the servers of large enterprises with ample processing capacity), so they won’t have to buy their own high-powered computers and pay the enormous electricity bills. For instance, Monero uses a public ledger to create and track the exchange of digital tokens, but transactions are obfuscated to hide the source, destination and actual amounts of cryptocurrency transferred.
- Therefore, as well as being a very costly affair due to energy usage, expenses rise with time as returns fall.
- You can also click on the right button of the mouse and select “View source code” or press Cmd + U if you are on OS X.
- Whichever method is used, crypto mining code then runs in the background of a victim’s computer and generates profits for an attacker.
- From the perspective of operated web services, there are several additional preventative measures – in addition to the same measures as for clients outlined above – that can be deployed.
- Kaspersky defined Cryptojacking as an illegal activity where cybercriminals secretly use the computational power of computers of victims to mint new tokens.
For organisations, outgoing malware traffic can be detected and monitored. Firewalls can be used to stop outgoing traffic when malware needs to connect to an external server. When suspicious traffic is detected, https://www.tokenexus.com/ monitoring software should send a notification to administrators to review a possible data breach. Learn about our relationships with industry-leading firms to help protect your people, data and brand.
Cybercriminals seek out websites in which they can embed crypto mining code. Be sure to install an anti-spam/anti-malware/anti-virus plugin to https://www.tokenexus.com/what-is-cryptojacking-how-to-prevent-and-detect-it/ protect and monitor your organisation’s websites. Early detection is vital, as it can prevent those using your website from becoming infected.