What is cryptojacking and how to escape from it?
What is cryptojacking
Cryptojacking is the process of mining cryptocurrency on third-party equipment without their knowledge, carried out through a browser. This method of earning is resorted to by both malefactors looking for easy profits, as well as by website owners wishing to earn more.
Before the advent of cryptojacking, mining on other people's facilities was also extremely popular, but it was more difficult for hackers to mine cryptocurrency: they had to infect the user's system and hope that the virus would remain undetected. Browser mining simplifies this task: all the hacker needs to do is embed the malicious code into the site and wait for hapless visitors to start bringing them revenue.
According to Opera, more than 3 million websites have a built-in script to mine cryptocurrencies using users' power. This means that the problem sooner or later can affect any Internet user, so you need to know how to protect yourself and your equipment.
- How does cryptojacking work?
When you open a site that contains a malicious script, the user's power starts mining cryptocurrency. Unlike mining viruses, mining only happens when the user is on the site, and stops the moment they leave. Another significant difference is that the malicious script is installed in the site code by its owner.
It is worth noting that hidden mining through the browser is less wear and tear on the hardware than viruses. However, cryptojacking overheats components, slows down your computer or smartphone, and increases energy costs.
- How do I detect cryptojacking?
If you find that your device began to "slow down" strongly, and there are no visible reasons for this (no heavy programs running), it is worth paying attention to the CPU load: if it is equal to 100%, then hidden mining is almost certainly to blame here. After that it is necessary to close the site, the opening of which led to such a CPU load.
PC owners can also detect hidden mining with the help of the cooling coolers: if they suddenly started making a loud noise while browsing the Internet, most likely you got into cryptojacking. However, it is worth keeping in mind that older computers may overload and make noise not because of mining, but because of the heavy architecture of modern websites.
- How to protect yourself from cryptojacking?
While it's easy to detect and stop mining through your browser, it's better to avoid using your power to mine cryptocurrencies altogether. Fortunately, there are now many ways to protect your equipment from unauthorized mining.
1) Antivirus programs (such as the Premium version of Malwarebytes);
2) No Coin extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera;
3) Using the Opera browser, which already has cryptojacking protection built in;
4) Anti-WebMiner program, which is installed on the computer itself and protects all browsers.
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