Cryptojacking is what we call it when cyber-criminals use your computer to mine Bitcoin or other cybercurrencies. If you understand how Bitcoin and cryptomining works, that’s all you need to know. For everyone else, please read on…
You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the most well-known example of a cryptocurrency (digital money) that is used for buying and selling things on the Web. Cryptocurrency is the preferred currency of cyber-criminals, mainly because it is international, doesn’t require a bank account and is completely anonymous. Criminals also use Bitcoin transactions as a method of money laundering for proceeds of other crimes that need not be digital in nature. In fact, about 97% of transactions on the infamous “dark web” are conducted using Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are created through a process called cryptomining. Essentially, high-powered computers need to solve very complex mathematical puzzles in order for new Bitcoin to be created. So, given that cyber criminals know that they can literally make new money simply by putting computers to work, it makes sense that they would try to maximize their benefit, and minimize their cost, by using your computer instead of theirs. That’s where cryptojacking comes in.
Cryptomining takes up a lot of a computer’s processing power, as well as electricity. A computer that is cryptomining probably can’t do much else. Certainly, everything else will slow down and/or crash. So shady operators are always looking for ways to save their computing power by using yours.
Here’s how they do it:
There are three important things your organization can do to protect itself from cryptojacking:
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