What is Cryptojacking?
Cryptocurrency is fueling a new kind of cyber attack: cryptojacking. Cryptojacking is the secret use of your computing device to mine cryptocurrency. According to Symantec, Cryptojacking attcks exploded by 8500% in 2017 with Symantec logging 1.7 million in December alone. With only a couple lines of code, cyber criminals harness stolen processing power and cloud CPU usage to mine crypto currency. Coin mining slows devices and overheats batteries. For enterprises, coin miners put corporate networks at risk of shutdown and inflate cloud CPU usage, adding cost.
Cryptojacking can be performed in a couple of ways:
1-Malware trick & phishing:
Loading cryptomining code into machines by targeting people through legitimate-looking emails that contain a link. Once the victim clicks on the link, the script is loaded on the computer and runs in the background.
2- In-browser cryptojacking
Loading java Scripts through a web page or an online ad. This is done by infecting a website or online ad with a code which auto-execute, so there’s no program to be installed. According to AdGaurd, the number of sites from Alexa’s top 100K list which run in-browser mining grew by 31% in November 2017. Cryptojacking does not require technical skills. Cryptojacking kits are sold on the dark web for as little as $30. Unlike Ransomware, cryptojacking is cheaper and more profitable while the risk of getting caught is very low.
How to detect cryptojacking:
Cryptojacking can affect your network and slow down machines, but it can be very difficult to detect as the current endpoint protection tools cannot detect or stop it. Usually the first sign is an increase in the number of complaints about computer performance. So, having a network monitoring solution in place is a good idea as it detects unusual patterns and abnormalities which can provide a great help in detecting the source of the problem. Installing an ad-blocking or anti-cryptomining extensions on web browsers can also serve as an effective means of stopping them.
Contact us for more information about cryptojacking and how to protect your network against such attacks.