Cryptocurrencies are the trend since the inception of bitcoin in 2008. Although cryptocurrencies still have a long way to go before replacing traditional currencies, they are now used for major transactions online.
It is a bandwagon that individuals are gradually jumping in on because of its transparency and the elimination of a third party during transactions. In fact, cryptocurrency is often referred to as the future.
What is Cryptojacking?
With the rise in cryptocurrencies, it is very certain that miners would try every means possible to acquire cryptocurrencies without going through the risks involved.
Cryptojacking allows you to do that but this ideology is wrong. in every business, there should be a certain amount of risk you should be willing to take.
Cryptojacking is the mining of cryptocurrency from someone else’s computer without the knowledge of the user. A hacker makes use of your hardware to run cryptocurrency mining software.
The hacker then sells the cryptocurrency, profits from cryptojacking and leaves the victim with a high CPU usage. This automatically slows down the performance of a computer.
How does a hacker gain access?
A hacker’s primary aim is to get a crypto mining script on the computer of an unsuspecting user. This is done by sending malicious links to a victim via email.
The minute the victim clicks on this link, the hacker gains access to the computer.
Note:- I have written a post for people looking for the best thermal paste to cool down your PC, do read it If you are interested.
How to detect Cryptojacking
The effect of cryptojacking is minimal compared to a virus attack. What it does is that it steals CPU processing resources. You would then begin to notice a slower performance in your computer and a loud noise from the fan as a result of overheating.
Often times, victims pin the underperformance of their computer on hardware or software malfunctions and spend unnecessary sums trying to fix an issue that often resurfaces after each repair.
Detecting Cryptojacking would mean performing random checks on your computer. One of such checks is to check for your CPU performance.
1.On your windows GUI, right click on your taskbar. A menu pops up
2. On the image click on task manager. The task manager brings out a list of tasks and processes happening underground
3. click on the performance tab
4. The performance tab displays the performance of the CPU and how much percentage is being used. The lesser the percentage, the better.
You could simply use the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keyboard shortcut to access it directly.
How to Protect yourself from Cryptojacking
There is no single one-click solution to Protect yourself from Cryptojacking , You need to follow below countermeasures
1. Install Malwarebytes. This automatically blocks cryptocurrency mining scripts including coinhive from executing in your browser.
2.Ensure that you download apps only from the play store if you are using an android device
3. Do not click on an email you are not certain of the sender.
4. Be aware of cryptojacking trends. When you evolve with these trends, you are least likely to fall for their scams.
5. Install anti- crypto mining extension on your web browser. Recommended are; No coin and Minerblock. These extensions have been specifically designed to detect and to block crypto mining scripts on your browser.
I will recommend you to read How to Block Cryptocurrency Miners in Your Web Browser