The rise of cryptocurrency has seen an increase in related cybercrimes and scams. Today we're going to take a look at one of these crypto-specific cybercrimes: Cryptojacking.
We'll be diving into what cryptojacking is, why it's bad, how to spot it, and how to prevent it from happening to you. Just remember that if you need support or someone to talk to, our Sonder support team is available 24/7 to chat whenever you need it.
What exactly is cryptojacking?
Cryptojacking is when a criminal secretly uses a victim's computing power to generate cryptocurrency. That's right, we're talking about someone using your computer to do stuff in the background without you knowing.
As cryptocurrencies are digital, only computer programs and computing power are needed to create them.
This cybercrime occurs when the victim unwittingly installs a program containing malicious scripts that allow the cybercriminal to take control of their computer. This can occur in situations such as clicking on an unknown link in an email or visiting an infected website.
Why is cryptojacking bad?
While this cybercrime may seem somewhat harmless since the only thing "stolen" is the victim's computer power, cryptojacking infringes on the victim's privacy and is a criminal act as it involves illicitly creating cryptocurrency. Furthermore, this use of the victim's computer and computing power is done without their knowledge or consent.
Lastly, large amounts of cryptocurrency can be generated through cryptojacking, making it a very lucrative crime for cybercriminals and therefore enticing more people to do it.
What are the signs of being a cryptojacking victim?
There are a number of signs that indicate whether your computer is being used for cryptojacking, such as:
A noticeable slowdown in device performance
Overheating of batteries on devices
Devices shutting down due to lack of available processing power
Reduction in productivity of your device or router
Unexpected increases in electricity costs.
How to prevent cryptojacking from happening
As long as you stay vigilant, you can stay safe from any potential cryptojacking. Some preventative measures include:
Continuously monitor resources on your computer (processing speed, power usage etc)
Use browser extensions designed to block coin mining
Use more privacy-focused ad blockers
Install the latest software updates and patches for your operating system, web browsers, and all applications
Block pages that are known to deliver cryptojacking scripts.
If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.
Image credit: Lewis Kang'ethe Ngugi at Unsplash
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.