Home Malware What is cryptojacking? How to prevent, detect, and recover from it

What is cryptojacking? How to prevent, detect, and recover from it

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Cryptojacking definition

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of someone else’s computer to mine cryptocurrency. Hackers do this by either getting the victim to click on a malicious link in an email that loads cryptomining code on the computer, or by infecting a website or online ad with JavaScript code that auto-executes once loaded in the victim’s browser.

Either way, the cryptomining code then works in the background as unsuspecting victims use their computers normally. The only sign they might notice is slower performance or lags in execution.

Why cryptojacking is popular

No one knows for certain how much cryptocurrency is mined through cryptojacking, but there’s no question that the practice is rampant. Browser-based cryptojacking grew fast at first, but seems to be tapering off, likely because of cryptocurrency volatility.

In November 2017, Adguard reported a 31 percent growth rate for in-browser cryptojacking. Its research found 33,000 websites running cryptomining scripts. Adguard estimated that those site had a billion combined monthly visitors.

In February 2018, Bad Packets Report found 34,474 sites running Coinhive, the most popular JavaScript miner that is also used for legitimate cryptomining activity. In July 2018, Check Point Software Technologies reported that four of the top ten malware it has found are crypto miners, including the top two: Coinhive and Cryptoloot.

However, Positive Technology’s Cybersecurity Threatscape Q1 2019 report shows that cryptomining now accounts for only 7% of all attacks, down from 23% in early 2018. The report suggests that cybercriminals have shifted more to ransomware, which is seen as more profitable.



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