August 25, 2022
Cryptojacking is a type of cybercrime that involves the unauthorized use of people’s devices (computers, smartphones, tablets, or even servers) by cybercriminals to mine for cryptocurrency. It is a threat that embeds itself within a computer or mobile device and then uses its resources to mine cryptocurrency.
This usually occurs when the victim unwittingly installs a program with malicious scripts which allow the cybercriminal to access their computer or another Internet-connected device, for example by clicking on an unknown link in an e-mail or visiting an infected website. Programs called ‘coin miners’ are then used by the criminal to create, or ‘mine’, cryptocurrencies.
Cryptojacking might seem like a harmless crime, since the only thing ‘stolen’ is the power of the victim’s computer. But the use of computing power for this criminal purpose is done without the knowledge or consent of the victim, for the benefit of the criminal who is illicitly creating currency.
Certain crypto mining scripts have worming abilities that let them infect other servers and devices on a target network. This also makes them difficult to isolate and remove—maintaining persistence on a network is in the best financial interest of crypto-jacking.
For cryptocurrencies to be able to create new blocks, individuals need to provide computing power. Cryptocurrencies offer rewards to people who provide the required computing power. Individuals who provide computing resources in exchange for currency are known as crypto miners.
When cryptojacking malware overwhelms a system, it can result in severe performance issues, which will have an immediate impact on your customers and end-users. If, for instance, a healthcare provider is a victim, staff could be unable to access critical patient health data.
Attacks could also be combined with fake antivirus software to assail victims with ads stating that they must pay to have their devices cleaned. This is a troubling blend of ransomware and malicious mining.