How to protect yourself from hidden cryptocurrency mining

How to protect yourself from hidden cryptocurrency mining

Author: Robert Strickland (crypto-journalist)

Despite the constant fluctuations of the cryptocurrency exchange rate, it always remains high, which encourages users to "mine" the cherished codes. But efficient mining requires huge computing resources, and the more they are, the faster the results will appear. To do this, "miners" buy high-performance equipment with powerful power units and graphics and combine computers into complexes, the so-called farms, solving a common problem - mining "cryptocurrency".

The cost of such equipment is quite high, so many are looking for ways to use other people's computers for their own purposes. These are not only machines in companies' or offices' local networks, but also computers of Internet users that are infected with "virus" code that takes over computer's management and makes them give computing resources to "miners" who have infiltrated the system with malware.

There are also variants of using users' computers while they are on certain websites with the help of so-called "web miners". In this case, there are no extraneous files on the hard drive, and under normal circumstances, the machine is operating normally without causing suspicion, but during the transition to some, including fairly popular sites with pirated video and game content, the system starts to slow down and even "hang", consuming the maximum amount of electricity.

  • The specialists  have prepared some tips to prevent the use of your computer for hidden "mining":

Monitor the CPU load. If the computer's speed decreases, open Task Manager (aka "Task Manager") in Windows systems or Activity Monitor for macOS devices and determine the degree of processor load. If this value tends to be 100%, see what application creates this load. Try closing the browser, and if the increased CPU load disappears - add the previously viewed site to your personal "blacklist".
If information from this site is important to you, try to disable JavaScript in browser settings when you view this site (in Google Chrome this function is located in Settings - Privacy and Security (in older versions Personal Data)- Content Settings - JavaScript). You can add a rule specifically for suspicious sites, but if you disable this feature "permanently," most other resources will also stop working correctly.

Install one of the webminer blocker extensions. Such add-ons exist for each browser. They can block a wide variety of harmful scripts, ads, or other unwanted content. Among them are NoScript, ScriptSafe, and ScriptBlock. And in the list of add-ons for Google Chrome, you can find a special anti-miner - No Coin. But there are others.
Be sure to install and keep your anti-virus databases up to date. Be sure to enable the potentially unwanted program detection feature (Riskware).


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