Is your computer being used for ‘CryptoJacking’?

    As almost all popular streaming sites are ‘CryptoJacking’ computers without their user’s knowledge these days and security experts from Kaspersky believe that Cryptojacking will emerge as one of the biggest Cyber Threats of 2018.

    According to a report published in Forbes, those websites & apps which aren’t billing you for their web services are often seen collecting your data to bombard you with ads. And coming to those which offer streaming services, they are seen using their respective user’s browsers for bitcoin mining.

    Very recently, users of file sharing network ‘The Pirate Bay’ have alleged that the said service provider was found Cryptojacking their computers. In another instance, the free WiFi provider in a Starbucks café in Argentina was found guilty on this issue when law enforcement officials raided the parlor.

    Users may object to this, especially it slows down their computer to the Tortoise scale.

    Note- Technically speaking, Cryptojacking means using someone else computer without their knowledge, perhaps for just seconds at a time, to mine a cryptocurrency such as bitcoins.

    So, how to know if you’re PC has been ‘Cryptojacked’…?

    Hackers often embed mining software into an ad using JavaScript Code and inject into the scripts of websites like Wikipedia (for instance). It is mining bitcoins for themselves using another website’s traffic.

    In most cases, the code runs on the website without the site owner’s knowledge and when the user accesses it through their browser, their PC starts mining crypto for the hackers- no matter whether it is just a matter of seconds.

    Slow down of PC as well as internet and super-draining of battery i.e. much faster than normal are some symptoms which indicate your PC has been Cryptojacked.

    According to an estimate, 220 of top 1000 websites in the world are conducting crypto jacking and have earned a total of $43,000 USD over a three week period.

    Some websites do it to make extra earnings like the Pirate Bay, while some just become victims to some smart hackers. In the end, it is the users of the websites which have to face the consequences.

    Bill Buchanan, the head of the Cyber Academy of Edinburg Napier University said that PC users can isolate themselves from such cryptocurrency mining websites by using software tools which keep a track of the code as it runs such as an ad-blocker. But again, these tools come with some cons like ads displaying which will become annoying after some time of use.

    Naveen Goud
    Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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