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Cryptojacking and hacker threats

04/12/2019
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Once again, experts call cryptojacking the main threat to companies' computers and ordinary users. Mozilla has found a way to combat this danger. Its browser has a built-in module that protects against hidden mining of cryptocurrencies.

What is cryptojacking

There are several ways to get cryptocurrency. Some buy it on the stock exchanges, others are mined using ASICs. And still, others are engaged in outright piracy, forcing other people's computers to engage in secret mining. To do this, they use malware and websites that activate hidden scripts.

Up to 5%, Monero cryptocurrency was obtained through hidden mining cryptocurrency. The flowering of this business came in the years 2017-18 when up to a third of personal computers were infected with malware.

For their purposes, hackers use cryptocurrencies with increased confidentiality. The most commonly used mining is Monero, where there is the highest level of protection for user data. Its algorithm is designed in such a way that the payee cannot, in principle, track the sender's address. Transfers are divided into small parts and are carried out through special gateways. It is in this blockchain that cryptojacking has become the most popular way to extract tokens.

What is the danger of cryptojacking

Since hackers need to maintain anonymity for as long as possible, they try to do the least harm to a personal computer. The virus does not attempt to gain access to personal data, it does not block access to the Internet. It simply uses resources to generate cryptocurrency.

Cryptojacking does not take up absolutely all the resources of the machine. Owners of powerful PCs may not even notice that they have been attacked.

However, in the end, this leads to slower operation of the entire system and increased power consumption. A prime example is a Coinhive program. It infected 12% of all corporate computers in the world, but a significant proportion of users did not even notice the threat. The share of XMRig and JSEcoin miner accounts for 7% and 5% of the corporate sector, which in total gives a very percentage of the total number of infected PCs. According to experts, the only cryptojacking on the Monero network brought hackers a profit of about $ 57 million.

Is cryptojacking so scary

With all the possible troubles from cryptojacking its danger is exaggerated. It does not harm the computer, and the virus is easily removed with antivirus programs. The company Mozilla in the new versions of the browser Firefox Nightly 68 and Beta 67 installed special blocks to protect against this threat.

A Japanese court acquitted a web designer who installed Coinhive on his websites. It was recognized that this software did not steal personal data and did not harm the devices. Lawyers even managed to prove that the program is not a virus in the traditional sense of the term.

However, it should be recognized that cryptojacking carries certain inconveniences for users. According to Kaspersky Lab, in 2018 the number of such attacks increased by 300%. And McAfee said that the number of viruses for hidden mining has increased 40 times.

Therefore, it is necessary, at a minimum, to protect your PC from unauthorized interference. Stationary antiviruses from manufacturers of operating systems do a good job of this task.

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