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What Is Cryptojacking: How To Spot & Prevent Malware Attacks?

By May 9, 2023NFTs

AIO - What Is CryptojackingWe can all agree that the virtual world is a fascinating place. But what we can also agree on is that most people neither know half of what the metaverse is offering nor do they know how the hell things work there. But this is normal. Because when you introduce a whole new concept to the world which allows people to live two lives, it’s only normal for things to get more than confusing. However, aside from all the advantages and the money you can make, living in two worlds comes with its own disadvantages. Because now you got individuals defying the laws, not in just a single place, but in two. And just like you got lawsuits in the real world you got suits in the virtual one. And just like you got computer hacking in the real world, we now have cryptojacking taking over. So, what is cryptojacking? 

First things first, capitalizing on non-fungible tokens has been the new flex. And with the continuous web developments, we now have what is called metaverse jobs. But when it comes to the Internet, every job is prone to crushing if the right safety measures aren’t taken. Hackers are getting really creative these days. And the thing with the metaverse is that it got its own hackers that are real pros at cryptojacking. So, let’s find out what that is, exactly!

What Is Cryptojacking And How Does It Work? 

What is cryptojacking bitcoinBefore we introduce cryptojacking, you first need to understand how a crypto transaction and mining work. So, each crypto transaction needs validation. Thus, the existence of miners’ computers- also known as nodes. They are used to regularly collect and assemble every transaction into blocks. After that, these computers solve a challenging cryptographic puzzle to be the first to validate the new block for the blockchain. Meaning that every miner’s goal is to be the first to solve this puzzle. But what’s in it for them? Well, the miner who solves the puzzle first receives a specific amount of money. And in the case of bitcoins, these attackers get newly minted bitcoins as a reward. All in all, without some form of mining, blockchain technology wouldn’t function. And here’s where cryptojacking enters the game

What is Cryptojacking? Cryptojacking- aka malicious cryptomining- is a web-based threat that conceals itself on computers, mainly. We say “mainly” because the same could happen on mobile devices, network servers, and laptops. The thing with cryptojacking is that it kind of steals miners’ computer resources to mine cryptocurrencies. Do you know what’s worst than this whole stealing ordeal? It doesn’t let victims know they’re getting hacked! This is due to the fact that it doesn’t damage the user’s data.

Types Of Cryptojacking? 

There are two main types of cryptojacking attacks: Web browser-based attacks and host-based attacks. Yes, people are getting really creative these days. So, what are these 2 different types?

1- Web Browser-Based Attacks

This type of attack happens when a cybercriminal uses websites or online ads to deliver a cryptojacking malware. This automatically downloads the virus to the victim’s computer the second they visit the website or click on the ad. This is also known as “drive-by cryptojacking,” because the simple act of browsing a webpage gets the computer infected with the virus. 

2- Host-Based Attacks 

This type of cryptojacking attack happens directly. Meaning that there’s no need for an app, website, or ad for the virus to directly install itself on the victim’s computer. So, it mainly happens when a cybercriminal sends users an email with a fake app that holds the virus. 

CryptojackingHow to Detect Cryptojacking?

Now, for the real question, can you detect cryptojacking? Well yes, technically you can. You just need to be hyper-focused and not dismiss signs as if they were nothing important. Cryptojacking greatly impacts your computer’s performance, for one. It slows it down. Here you start suspecting the matter. But if a record-high electricity bill follows poor PC performance, know you’re too deep into the shithole. Because there’s a very high possibility cryptojacking malware might be living rent-free- literally- in your PC. Another red flag you can’t take for granted (even if so became the norm because of them toxic relationships) is an abnormal overheating of your computer, which might shorten the device’s lifespan. This happens because the malware puts pressure on the PC’s hardware.

All in all, you have to stay on the lookout for 3 main signs to detect any sign of cryptojacking: 

  • Poor computer performance 
  • Rise in electricity bill
  • Overheating PC

How to Stop Yourself From Falling Victim to Cryptojacking? 

Is cryptojacking a threat each every miner could face? Yes, fam. That’s the tough truth. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t take precautions to protect yourself against such cyberattacks. Here’s a list of some safeguards you can follow best to guard yourself against falling victim to cryptojacking:

  • Always keep your computer and browser up-to-date with the latest version, since it usually updates security measures that protect your device against malware
  • Never download unauthorized apps 
  • Employ ad blockers
  • Apply strong authentication
  • Install and regularly update antivirus and anti-malware software
  • Do not open emails and attachments from anonymous sources