What is CryptoJacking and how to protect yourself



If you make use of any kind of information technology during the operation of your business, then you need to invest in cyber security. Without strong cyber security, you leave your business vulnerable to potential cyber attacks. There are many different kinds of cyber attacks out there as well, such as cryptojacking, which involves the mining of digital currency (also known as cryptocurrency) from user computer systems.


What is Cryptomining?

To understand what cryptojacking is, you have to understand what cryptomining is. Basically, cryptomining is the mining of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which there is no centralized banking system. The way normal banking systems work is that central banks use a ledger keep track of all of the transactions that occur between all bank accounts. Transactions are checked against the ledger to determine if they can be approved or rejected.


FREE Download: 7 Steps To Implement A Disaster Recovery PlanCryptocurrency makes use of a giant ledger that is available to the public since it's not a centralized system. However, the issue that occurs is that when two transactions occur that might be in conflict, there needs to be a way to decide which transaction is valid and official. People use mining software to perform complicated calculations in order to come up with a valid answer. These valid answers are rewarded with cryptocurrency.


What is CryptoJacking?

The thing about cryptomining is that it takes up a lot of a computer's processing power as well as electricity. People who mine for cryptocurrency will often invest in hardware upgrades as well as additional computers to dedicate to mining. This is the legal way of doing it. Unfortunately, there's also an illegal way to mine for cryptocurrency, and that's through a process known as cryptojacking.


The way that cybercriminals use cryptojacking methods is by uploading a Javascript miner file to a website. While such files are sometimes knowingly uploaded to certain websites, in some cases, they are uploaded after a hacker has breached the site's security. The minder file then runs everytime someone visits the site, allowing the hacker to use the visitor's computer to mine cryptocurrency.


Cryptojacking is different than other types of cyber attacks in that cybercriminals aren't trying to steal data. Instead, their only goal is to use your hardware's processing power and electricity to mine cryptocurrency on their behalf.


While this may seem like a victimless crime, it's not. Because they are using your processing power, it can slow down your computer considerably - and that's the best-case scenario. In some cases, cryptojacking can cause a computer to freeze, shut down or experience hardware damage. This can happen if your computer's processor is being used to the extent that it overheats.


Preventing CryptoJacking

One the user side of things, stopping a cryptojacking attack is easy - you can just navigate away from the website that is causing the problems. If your computer slows down significantly while on a certain website, there's a chance that it's because your hardware is being mined.


However, as a business, it's even more important that your website isn't hosting a cryptocurrency mining file. You'll lose visitors by the boatload if this happens, and it could damage your company's reputation. To keep hackers from uploading cryptocurrency mining files to your site, it's important that you invest in cyber security. Not only should you implement security software and keep it up to date, but you should monitor your site for any potential attacks as well.


For more information about preventing cryptojacking attacks and on how to improve your website's cyber security, be sure to contact us at EnvisionIT Solutions today. 

meWritten By Kevin Gray

Hello! I am the Vice President @  EnvisionIT Solutions. | Technology Expert | Author | Speaker | Small & Medium Business IT Support - We founded EnvisionIT Solutions in 2007 to provide IT services and support for business owners/CEOs who value the necessity of technology to drive their success and growth.