What attracts more than a magnet? You might have guessed it right – it is money! And where there is easy money, there is a lot of hustle and bustle. Till now, ransomware was seen as the ultimate cash cow for attackers – kidnap critical data and ask a ransom in exchange. But, now, there is even a bigger cash cow than ransomware. It is called cryptojacking – using someone else’s computer to generate digital cash called cryptocurrency. While a ransomware gets detected after a time and is short-lived, cryptojacking can run almost undetected on users’ systems minting money for attackers for as long as they want. Due to its ease of deployment and an instant return of investments, cryptojacking has replaced ransomware as the number one threat for consumers and enterprises. And to help you understand this new digital threat better, we have listed out these FAQs.
1. What is cryptojacking?
A cryptocurrency is a form of virtual or digital money that uses cryptography for security. To generate (mine) this currency, a computer’s processing power is required. Cryptojacking (or cryptocurrency hijacking or cryptocurrency mining malware) is the secret use of your computer’s CPU power to generate cryptocurrency without your consent or knowledge. In simpler terms, when your computer is secretly used to generate digital cash, it is called cryptojacking.
2. What are some popular cryptocurrencies?
2) Litecoin (LTC) Litecoin
2) Ethereum (ETH)
3) Zcash (ZEC)
5) Ripple (XRP)
6) Monero (XMR)
3. Who can become the target of cryptojacking?
It is a common misconception that cryptojacking affects only those who handle cryptocurrencies. In fact, anyone who has a computer and uses the Internet can be targeted by attackers behind cryptojacking.
4. How can an attacker carry out cryptojacking on your computer?
An attacker can carry out cryptojacking on your computer by dropping a crypto mining code on the system without your knowledge. This can be done in the following ways:
5. How do you know if your computer has been cryptojacked?
If your computer is being used for cryptojacking, the only sign you might notice is slower performance or lag in execution. Some crypto mining scripts can eat 100% of the targeted computer’s CPU power which can significantly lower the lifespan of the hardware itself. In most cryptojacking cases that got reported, neither the owners of the compromised website nor its users were aware that they were the victims.
6. What type of websites are usually targeted for cryptojacking?
Attackers mostly target unprotected websites that receive massive traffic (has a lot of visitors) on a daily basis and compromise them with crypto mining codes. These websites could include government or news portals and even those that provide some kind of online service. And when individual users access these compromised websites, the crypto mining code hijacks their web browsers and begins the mining activity.
7. How can cryptojacking be harmful to your PC?
8. Important cryptojacking facts and statistics
9. How to protect yourself from cryptojacking?