A brand new threat is out there:
cryptojacking. Cryptocurrency is blowing up and is motivating devious delinquents to power mining systems in any way possible, and currently, the hottest method for gaining additional, free power is by hijacking your computer’s system resources.
On the rise right now are an increasingly concerning number of browser-based cryptocurrency mining scripts, which essentially make it painfully easy for crooks to harvest your computer for a much longer time before you notice it’s happening, if you notice at all
One such event happened recently to a friend of mine: One day while surfing the web, he noticed a significant decrease in his laptop’s performance, both in terms of speed and battery life. Sensing that something was tracking his movements on the web and fearing that it could be a much larger problem, he began to investigate. Plus, when you think all your sensitive information is at risk, you do as much digging as you can.
Once he started to pay closer attention to his laptop’s symptoms, he noticed that it was running low on storage space. We spoke about it and I remembered reading about Cryptojacking, so I suggested he check out a few articles. Well, an official diagnosis revealed that someone had somehow downloaded one of these cryptocurrency mining scripts/codes onto his computer through a phishing site accessed on Google Chrome, and were mining bitcoin!
Let’s break it down.
Cryptocurrencies aren’t generated by a bank like regular money but are instead “mined” when a computers solves a complex equation. Cryptojacking simply means using someone else’s computer without them knowing about it (sometimes for only seconds at a time) to mine cryptocurrencies. So really, it’s not as if these cryptojackers are after your sensitive personal information so much as they are after your system resources, but either way, knowing that someone else has access to your computer to any degree is unnerving.
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Luckily, as quickly as these problems arise, along come solutions to get rid of them. Adblock Plus has several filters that you can apply to your web browsers to protect you from this activity – check them out here. Subscribing to NoCoin will keep you updated and protected as well as notified if your system is under attack.
As it is, cryptojacking isn’t a *huge* problem yet, but as more sites pick it up there may be an increase, so it’s better to be aware and protected! And as usual, if you haven’t already, click here to join my Cryptocurrency Mastermind Group where we discuss daily news, updates and trends in one of the hottest up and coming industries in the world.