The Rise of Cryptojacking

With cryptocurrencies demand increasing every hour, cryptocurrency miners have found notorious ways of making money without their own resources. This is called Cryptojacking, which is a tool used to extort mining capabilities from the use of another person’s hardware. This can be done by simply pasting the JavaScript code onto your website, and in exchange for incentives such as an ad free experience for the user the mining script starts to run. Pirate Bay the peer to peer entertainment torrent website had installed mining code. This gave visitors a chance to remove ads in exchange for their CPU power to start mining without their knowledge.

Check Point conducted a Global Threat Index, and noticed that cryptojacking is the most popular malicious digital virus these days. CoinHive ranks number one in terms of software used by these crypto hackers. Cryptoloot follows suite with third place in terms of dangerous malware.

In the case of Coinhive, JavaScript code runs within your web browser. This mining script doesn’t ask for your permission, and it doesn’t let you know you that it has gone to work secretly mining for the Cryptocurrency Monero using your computer’s processing power.

Popular websites such as CBS’s Showtime and even the official website of soccer star Christiano Ronaldo have had problems of cryptomining code being run on it. Hackers have used the power of population and demand for incentives such as an ad free experience to gain maximum revenue from mining from others.

A case of Starbucks using customer’s laptops to mine for Monero was brought up by a customer in Buenos Aires. Every time a user connected to the stores Wi Fi network Coinhibe was loaded onto the customer’s computer with no knowledge of the customer who was enjoying sipping his coffee while browsing through the net.

The question is what resources and expenses are saved by another person mining using his CPU capabilities? The answer to this question is hardware cost is saved, maintenance of the hardware is not needed and electricity which can rise through the roof is not a factor anymore.

There have even been instances where certain extensions to popular Browsers such as Chrome have been infected and start mining whenever you are browsing the internet. One such extension which has been caught recently was called Archive Poster which was designed to help Tumblr users perform various tasks.

With certain threats come applications that can help. Anti WebMiner works for all browsers on the Microsoft platform. There is no need to install browser extensions and also updates itself with the database of blacklisted sites so that it can disable connection to them.

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About the Author: Jane Taylor

Jane is a 25-year-old from Kentucky that loves to share her passion for technology with others. Apart from running her own YouTube Channel (thetech2020), which uploads weekly videos that cover ground-breaking new technology, she spends her time developing enterprise software. She recently spent her summer working at BlackBerry as a software engineer, and will be returning this summer. In regards to academics, Jane studies Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at Guelph University and in her free time, she loves to watch hockey, read, and hang out with friends. To contact Jane, just click here

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