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What Cryptojacking is and how to protect against it

By November 28, 2022February 13th, 2023No Comments

What is cryptojacking

More recent cryptojacking threats include the Prometei cryptocurrency botnet which exploits Microsoft Exchange vulnerability. While it’s not strictly new, it was recently discovered to be exploiting Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities used in the Hafnium attacks to deploy malware and harvest credentials and then utilising the infected devices to mine Monero. The attacks target sites with multiple concurrent users and long average What is cryptojacking session durations, including image boards and streaming sites, to keep malicious scripts running for as long as possible. Beyond this, successfully defending against cryptojacking relies on techniques used to protect against any other form of attack. If your employees bring their own devices to work, this can also be a source of infection when these devices use the same networks or are connected to internal systems.

What is cryptojacking

In 2018, Darktrace detected a range of incidents where employees intentionally installed cryptomining software on their corporate devices to mine for personal gain. These employees do not have to pay for the electricity used to run the corporate device in the office – they are basically turning their employer’s electricity into cash by commandeering it. Unlike other forms of cybercrime, the goal of those pursuing cryptojacking is to remain hidden throughout an attack’s lifespan, targeting an enterprise’s processing power rather than its private data.

Real-world cryptojacking attacks

By shutting down during activity, users are less likely to detect malware on the system, leaving MinerGate active for longer on more machines. With malware, an attacker often uses keyloggers and clipboard sniffers to obtain the targeted user’s private key. A user’s private key is similar to a password that provides access to the user’s cryptocurrency account. When an attacker obtains the private key, they can drain the user’s cryptocurrency account and transfer funds to an attacker’s account.

When suspicious traffic is detected, monitoring software should send a notification to administrators to review a possible data breach. Want to disable JavaScript without giving up scripting entirely when browsing? Simply create a whitelist of websites and Java scripts for your browser to trust. If anti-malware programs cannot detect anything, contact a professional IT security expert. You could play it safe by completely rebooting your device, e.g., by using Windows Recovery.

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The infected images helped criminals mine cryptocurrency worth an estimated $36,000. Cryptojacking relies on a system being co-opted to perform a task without its owner’s knowledge or permissions. In that respect, it shares a lot in common with other forms of malware. Unlike other forms of cyber-attack, cryptojacking does not seek to cause damage to systems or steal data, but it is far from a victimless crime.

In February 2018, researchers found cryptojacking on the Los Angeles Times site. Depending on a particular organisation’s set up, it may also be necessary to deploy an endpoint security product that includes behavioural detection. This entails installing a behavioural-based antivirus which detects whether an affected system wants to mine coins before shutting down the operation completely. An administrator then needs to quarantine and delete the malware or, in the case of something that does damage to system files, roll the system back to the last known good state before the malware executed.


Coinhive in an interview with the technology site Motherboard said that the entire campaign earned a total of 0.1 Monero which at the time was worth $245 per coin which means they earned less than $25 which Coinhive did not pay. Cryptocurrencies have come under a lot of scrutiny since becoming popular and one of the main problems is the amount of electricity it uses. As explained on the website of The Cryptographer, if you suspect that you are facing an infected page, just press Ctrl + U to display the source HTML or XML of the web. You can also click on the right button of the mouse and select “View source code” or press Cmd + U if you are on OS X.

The primary reason for this is CPU-friendliness – while Bitcoin’s mining algorithm requires a specialised ASIC setup and significant computing power, Monero can be mined using any computer or smartphone. Monero also obfuscates its transactions and anonymises wallet addresses, making it even harder to track than other cryptocurrencies. Miners compete with each other by rushing to be the first to solve mathematical problems.

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