Have you ever noticed that your computer is slow when viewing a particular website, or that your processor fan makes noise and your CPU usage reaches 100%? If yes, you are probably a victim of a Cryptojacking attack.  

Over 55% of businesses around the world are targeted by cryptocurrency mining attacks. Cryptojacking occurs everywhere on websites, servers, PCs, and mobile devices.  

Mining cryptocurrencies on other people's devices has overtaken ransomware as a preferred online monetary blackmail tactic. Hackers are working hard to persuade people to click on malicious links in emails that load crypto mining malware to your computer.  

They may also use web ads that contain JavaScript code that runs automatically when loaded into your browser. 

Therefore, in this article, we will be looking at what Cryptojacking is, how it affects online  security, and how to protect your business and personal computers from abuse. 

What is Cryptojacking? 

Cryptojacking is a malicious crypto mining that occurs when cybercriminals access commercial and personal computers, laptops, and mobile devices to install the software. This program mines cryptocurrencies or uses computer power and resources to steal cryptocurrency wallets from unsuspecting victims. The code is easy to install, runs in the background, and is difficult to detect.  

The basic idea behind Cryptojacking is that hackers use the resources of corporate and personal computers and devices to mine. Cybercriminals use these hacked machines to scoop up earned currency or steal it into a digital wallet. These stolen machines are vulnerable due to slowed CPU functionality and increased power consumption for processing. 

How Cryptojacking Affects Online Security 

Cybercriminals hack devices and install Cryptojacking software. In the background, the program mines cryptocurrencies or steals cryptocurrency wallets; unknown to the victims,  though, victims may get to notice. 

Hackers have two main ways to access the victim's device and secretly mine cryptocurrencies. They are:  

∙ Cryptographic mining malware is loaded on the computer by tricking the victim into  clicking on a malicious link in an email.  

∙ Infect websites or online ads with JavaScript code that runs automatically when the  victim's browser loads. 

Hackers often use both approaches to maximize profits. In both situations, the malware installs a Cryptojacking script on the victim's device. This script runs in the background while the victim is working.  

Regardless of the tactic chosen, the script will perform complex mathematical tasks on the  victim's device and send the results to a hacker-controlled server. 

How to Identify Cryptojacking 

Cryptojacking has the potential to disrupt your entire business. It can be difficult to determine which of your systems has been compromised. Encryption in cryptocurrency mining scripts can easily escape detection, so you and your IT team need to be vigilant. 

Here are some techniques to detect Cryptojacking before it's too late:  

1. Performance drops 

2. Overheating 

3. Battery Drain 

4. Keep an eye on your websites 

5. Malware Scanning etc. 

How to Prevent Yourself from Cryptojacking 

1. Use Anti-Crypto mining Extensions: Web browsers are commonly used to run  Cryptojacking programs, while Browser extensions like miner block, No Coin, and  Anti Miner are used to block cryptocurrency miners on the web. 

2. Disable JavaScript: Turning off JavaScript while browsing the web can help  prevent crypto-jacking malware from infecting your machine. Remember that  disabling JavaScript will prevent you from using many functions when surfing the  web. 

3. Block Websites Known With Cryptojacking Scripts: To avoid Cryptojacking  when browsing websites, make sure everyone is white-listed properly. You can also  block websites related to Cryptojacking, but this could still expose your device or  network to new Cryptojacking sites. 

4. Train Your IT Staff: Cryptojacking needs to be understood and discovered by your  IT team. They should be alert to the early symptoms of an attack and take swift  action to conduct further investigation. 

5. Educate Your Employees: Employees should notify IT staff when computers are  running slow or overheating. Employees should also be trained on cyber security issues, such as not clicking on links in emails running Cryptojacking and only  downloading from trusted sources. Personal email on your device is also subject to  the same restriction. 

6. Be Aware Of The Latest Trends In Cryptocurrency Hacking: Cybercriminals are constantly changing their code and designing new distribution methods to install  updated scripts on your computer system. Being alert and up-to-date with the latest 

cyber security risks can help you detect crypto-attacks on your network, while  preventing other cyber-attacks.

Final Thoughts 

Cryptojacking is a disruptive and harmful attack tactic that can result to negative effects. Your business needs a proactive method to prevent this attack from turning your  website or its content into a potentially dangerous environment for users.  

To explicitly protect against crypto-attacks, it is also necessary to monitor CPU activity  across all endpoints, including those hosted in the cloud. Finally, look out for frequent  queries about IP addresses associated with crypto mining pools. By following these  steps, you can make your computer work for you, not others.