In recent years Bitcoin mining has become an increasingly lucrative practice, but due to the hefty technological demands the cost of upkeep often outweighs the rewards. Bitcoin mining requires an enormous amount of processing power that most computers just can’t handle. Some miners have to resort to setting up a farm of multiple computers just to obtain one bitcoin. Naturally the purchase of all of those PC’s coupled with a high electricity bill make the mining of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency an expensive hobby. But why would hackers go through all the pain of multiple machines when they can just use yours? This is where the term Cryptojacking comes into play.
Crpytojacking most simply put is the high jacking of an individual’s machine In order to mine for cryptocurrency without the owner’s consent or knowledge. There are two methods in which hackers can gain access to your PC to mine bitcoin. The first is through a classic phishing email. Hackers send an email with a link that once clicked on installs the malware necessary to mine bitcoin in the background without you ever knowing. The second method is called “drive-by cryptojacking”. This method involves a user clicking on a webpage or ad that has the code necessary to mine directly from your web browser.
But how does this impact you? Since mining Bitcoin requires a tremendous amount of computing power your computers may seem slow and unresponsive making it hard to complete necessary work. The hacker gets away with free untraceable money in the form of Bitcoin while you get sluggish computers, high electric bills and extensive downtime. Cryptojacking can potentially even burn your machines battery out until its completely dead. While these issues may seem like minor annoyances they prove seriously detrimental to your business in the long run as this form of malware makes it hard for an individual to conduct business in a cost effective and efficient way.
There are multiple, simple ways to prevent cryptojacking you just have to apply them correctly.
The easiest way is to maintain caution when opening emails or links from unfamiliar addresses. These links could potentially install the malware necessary for bitcoin mining. Also be wary of onsite ads that could run malware in the background. To avoid this make sure to install and ad blocker. Finally, make sure to implement Security Awareness Training to all employees so they are up to date on potential cybersecurity threats that may impact them.
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