The Cryptojacking Craze

What is Cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking is somewhat is new online threat that is usually embedded in architecture of a computer or mobile device. It is used by the perpetrators to mine cryptocurrency, at the expense of the machine’s resources. Cryptojacking is considered a societal menace as it affects the targeted devices in terms of the amount of energy used, the computer usage and the efficiency. It compromises the use of these devices. Cryptojacking, just like most malware attacks on devices is solely motivated by the craze for money. But what differentiates this malware attack from others is the fact that it is designed to be completely invisible, out of sight from the user. To get a good understanding of why or how cryptojacking came to being, it is important that we throw some light into the mining of cryptocurrencies.

Holders of cryptocurrencies keep their assets in crypto wallets. For a transaction to happen between two cryptocurrency holders, there is need to establish a transfer record, the record which will be entered into the decentralised digital ledger using blockchain. These transactions are processed by special computers which are responsible for the collation of data from new transactions, thereafter turning them into mathematical puzzles. But these puzzles needs to be cracked, or solved – before confirmation is reached.

The people that are responsible for solving these puzzles are called miners. Miners basically solve the puzzle, proving the authenticity of the transaction, after which the transfer will be successful. However, miners are not in any way affiliated with companies, they are independent individuals or group of people, and they are a lot of miners out there. It works in such a way that among millions of miners working on cracking a puzzle, the first to crack that puzzle is the person that is rewarded with a small token of crypto coins. Easy right? The thing is mining is not easy, the complex path taken in order to solve one puzzle requires a whole lot of computer powers working together. And the best of a single computer cannot do this. So the miners that upped their games, got more super computers.

Who are these deviants?

However, other miners who couldn’t afford super computers came up with cryptojacking. Which is directed at using other people’s computing devices (smart phones, computers, tablets, servers) without them knowing. By doing this, they are harnessing the device’s resources. By the time they are able to cryptojack various computers, they become giants in the mining sector, thereby competing at a higher level. There are no established facts as to if cryptojacking is illegal or not, but I am damn sure that you will not find it funny if your computer was crypto jacked. Cryptojackers on their own part seems not to be slowing down with their plight, in 2018, it accounted for most malware detected in computer devices. And experts have suggested that the cryptojacking craze is growing in such a rate that it will eventually become a major cyber security threat. Cryptojackers even went as far as attacking operational technological networks.

How do you stop cryptojacking?

The thing is, if you have been cryptojacked, it is difficult to know manually. Most people use the CPU usage method in computers to determine the usability of their devices, but these malwares are becoming sophisticated, able to mask themselves as legitimate processes. In fact, when your computer is cryptojacked, it becomes hard to troubleshoot it because it is somewhat slow. So one of the best way to prevent cryptojacking by blocking JavaScript on the browser you use. While this is great method, it will hinder your optimum internet experiences

Also, you can stop cryptojacking by installing security softwares. The popular security softwares includes No Coin and MinerBlock. These software functions by interrupting mining activities in the most popular browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Opera.

 

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