Have you been Cryptojacked?

Cybercriminals aren’t just looking to steal your company’s data, they are also eager to steal the use of your computers for other nefarious purposes. So today, I want to tell you about Cryptojacking, how it works, and the steps you can take to keep your organization’s devices safe.

Cryptojacking is when malware on a computer steals a device’s memory, processing power, and electricity to make money for someone else – all without your knowing it’s happening.

Cryptojacking is an outgrowth of the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies. Cybercriminals typically stage a cryptojacking attack by infecting websites that generate a lot of online traffic. When an online user accesses an infected website on a desktop or notebook, malicious code embedded in the website then infects the user’s device. This type of attack isn’t designed to steal your private data, but to harness the power of your computer’s CPU. It’s malware that accesses your computer for the sole purpose of mining cryptocurrency.

After the currency is mined, it is then electronically transferred to the cybercriminal and remains untraced. Several difference cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin may be mined this way. And while none of these crypocurrencies are illegal, mining them without permission is.

Over 2,500 websites have already been accused of capturing its visitors’ CPU power to harvest cryptocurrency instead of displaying ads.

So how can you prevent cryptojacking?

  1. Always use a good antivirus and antimalware software on every computer in your organization
  2. Make sure that you are updating all your computers, firewalls, and network devices regularly. Most types of malware infect computers by exploiting known vulnerabilities that haven’t been patched.
  3. Never install software of apps that you don’t trust.
  4. Don’t click on links without knowing where they lead
  5. Always be careful when visiting unfamiliar sites
  6. Use a reputable adblocker. Many of these will block mining code and specifically look for cryptojacking malware
  7. Check your CPU usage periodically. A resource monitor will allow you to check and see if CPU usages is abnormally high. In Windows it’s the Task Manager and on a Mac is the Activity Monitor. If you close all your apps but still see CPU usage running very high, you may have a problem.
  8. If you ever notice generally poor performance or after clicking a link you hear your computer’s fans speed up, you may have a cryptojacking infection.

If you need a hand with cybersecurity at your company, contact us and we’ll be glad to assist you.

Everyone stay safe out there!

Author: Glenn Mores

President & CEO MicroData