Recently, we’ve been witnessing a whole new type of hacking. Cryptojacking, which consists in mining cryptocurrencies without the user’s knowledge, by exploiting his or her computer’s resources.
The virus malware, which, once in possession of the computer system, force the user to reinstall the entire operating system, are well known. ransomware “which aims to hacker a computer system: all the data and files disappear from the computer and to recover them, the hackers are happy to offer a large ransom.
Although these practices are still common today, a new type of virus has emerged and is taking an ever-greater place in the field of computer hacking. This practice, cryptojacking, is linked to cryptocurrencies. This new revolution in “invisible” currencies has, like any other IT development, attracted the malicious eye of hackers.
What is cryptojacking?
Some cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin, Monera and others) need to be “mined”. A whole computer calculation is then required to mine these cryptocurrencies, enabling, among other things, their transactions to be validated and generated. To achieve this, “miners” have to use high computing power via processors in order to mine, resulting in a high cost in computing resources. For example, mining a cryptocurrency like bitcoin requires more electricity than a country like Ireland consumes in an entire year!
Faced with this situation, certain individuals eager to earn ever more money by mining have developed what is known as cryptojacking. They use a computer’s processor, in other words its power, to mine cryptocurrency for their own account. Two main results can be observed: they save a certain amount on the energy used, since it’s the computer’s energy that they consume, and the computer’s power and speed is then reduced.
But so as not to be aware of the “hack”, hackers won’t use a single processor to mine. They’re going to use the processors of a whole host of individuals to spread out the demand for power, but above all to mine more and faster.
Some companies have been tricked by cryptojacking. Since they are equipped with more powerful computer processors than private individuals, this is a godsend for these new hackers. It’s not as profitable as practices such as ransomware, but it’s much more recent.
So how do you protect yourself?
You need to be careful with any software that requires installation on a computer system. This is often how cryptojacking takes place. If the operating system is slower than usual, don’t hesitate to consult a professional to check the problem. Note: there are also browser plug-ins, such as ” NoCoin “, to block Cryptojacking software, and the use of an effective e-mail protection service such as Altospam prevents these malware from being received via e-mail.