How Cryptojacking is harming your devices and what to do about it?

Have you ever wondered that nowadays it is even possible for a hacker to hack through your device and generate a huge amount of money from it? If not then let us introduce you to the concept of Cryptojacking.

What is Cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking is a sort of cybercrime in which a criminal surreptitiously generates bitcoin using the processing resources of a victim.

How does Cryptojacking work?

This software is installed on devices by cybercriminals. In the background, the program mines for bitcoins or steals from cryptocurrency wallets. The unwitting victims continue to use their devices normally, however, they may experience slower performance or delays.

Hackers have two main methods for discreetly mining bitcoins on a victim’s device:

  • By convincing the victim to click on a malicious link in an email that installs crypto mining software on their machine.
  • A website or online advertisement can be infected with JavaScript code that automatically activates whenever the victim’s browser is loaded.

How do the Cryptojacking Hackers Maximize their profit?

To maximize their profit, hackers frequently employ both tactics. These cryptojacking scripts can check if the device has been previously infected with crypto-mining malware from other sources. Regardless of the approach, the script does complicated mathematical problems on the victims’ devices and transmits the solutions to a server controlled by the hacker.
These scripts, unlike other varieties of malware, do not harm computers or the data of their victims. They do, however, use computer processing resources. Slower computer performance may just be an irritation for some people.

Why cryptojacking is a problem for large-scale organizations:

  • The utilization of help desk and IT resources to investigate performance concerns and replace components or systems in the hopes of resolving the issue.
  • Costs of power have risen.
  • Some crypto mining programs feature worming capabilities, allowing them to infect other networked devices and servers. This makes them more difficult to detect and eliminate.These cryptojacking scripts can also check whether the device was previously infected with crypto-mining malware from other sources. If the script detects another crypto miner, it disables it.
  • Some online publishers attempted to monetize their traffic by demanding users’ permission to mine for cryptocurrencies while on their site in the early days of crypto mining. They framed it as a fair trade: visitors would get free material in exchange for the sites mining their computers. On gaming websites, for example, users may stay on the page for a long period while the JavaScript code mines for coins. The crypto mining would then stop when they left the site. This strategy can succeed if sites are open about their activities. The challenge for users is determining whether or not websites are being truthful.

What is Cryptojacking Malware?

Cryptojacking malware is a type of malicious crypto mining that doesn’t ask for permission and continues to operate long after you leave the original site. Proprietors of shady websites or hackers who have infiltrated genuine websites adopt this tactic. Users have no awareness that a website they visited has been mining bitcoin on their machine. The code just consumes a little number of system resources to go unnoticed.A hidden browser window remains active, even though the user thinks they have closed all visible windows. People often use pop-unders, which scale to fit beneath the taskbar or below the clock.

How Cryptojacking Malware can infect your phone?

Cryptojacking malware may infect Android mobile devices using the same ways that it can infect desktop computers. Some attacks use a Trojan disguised in a downloaded program. Other attacks involve forwarding users’ phones to an infected website, resulting in a continuous pop-under. Although individual phones have limited processing capacity, the cryptojackers’ efforts are justified when carried out in large numbers.

Why is this a concern?

Because the only thing stolen is the victim’s computer’s power, cryptojacking may appear to be a harmless crime. The criminal who is making cash illegally uses computational resources for this unlawful purpose without the victim’s knowledge or agreement. Cybercriminals regard this as a lucrative crime since a high number of infected devices generates a large quantity of money.

Cryptojacking attack has mostly a performance impact, but it may also raise prices for individuals and organizations affected because currency mining consumes a lot of electricity and computer resources.

Cryptojacking examples:

Cryptojacking has a lot of high-profile examples:

  • In 2019, Microsoft removed eight applications from its store for secretly mining bitcoin using the resources of users who bought them. Three independent developers allegedly created the apps, but they were suspected to have been created by the same person or group. The apps could be discovered through keyword searches or on lists of the top free apps. Users would unwittingly download cryptojacking JavaScript code when they downloaded and activated one of the apps. The miner would turn on and begin seeking Monero, using a large portion of the device’s resources and slowing it down.
  • In 2018, researchers discovered cryptojacking malware on the Homicide Report page of the Los Angeles Times, which used visitors’ computers to mine Monero without their knowledge or consent. The script consumed very little computing power, leaving many users unaware of the hijacking.There was a similar attack later that year on the operational technology network of a European water utility control system, which limited the plant’s operations. It was the first reported cryptojacking attack on an industrial control system. The attacker mined Monero, just like the attack on the Los Angeles Times.
  • Researchers discovered that the CoinHive miner was operating on YouTube Ads using Google’s DoubleClick infrastructure in early 2018.
  • A cryptojacking attack compromised over 200,000 MikroTik routers in Brazil in July and August 2018, injecting CoinHive malware into a significant volume of web traffic.

Cryptojacking Detection:

Reduced efficiency:

Reduced performance on your computing equipment is one of the most common signs of cryptojacking. Slower systems are often the first indicator of trouble, so keep an eye out if your device is operating slowly, crashing, or performing poorly. Another possible clue is if your battery is depleting faster than normal.

Overheating Cryptojacking:

Overheating Cryptojacking is a time-consuming activity that might overheat computing hardware. This can harm computers or reduce their lifespan. If your laptop or computer’s fan is running faster than normal, a script or website may be causing the device to overheat, and the fan is running to prevent the device from melting or catching fire.

CPU consumption:

If you see an increase in CPU usage when visiting a website with little or no media content, it might be a clue that the scripts are executing. Checking your device’s central processing unit (CPU) use with the Activity Monitor or Task Manager is an excellent cryptojacking test. Keep in mind, though, that processes may disguise themselves as something legal to prevent you from preventing the abuse. Furthermore, when your computer is running at maximum capacity, it will operate very slowly, making troubleshooting more difficult.

Cryptojacking Protection:

Use a competent cybersecurity program:

A comprehensive cybersecurity product like Kaspersky Total Security can identify risks across the board and protect you against malware. It is far better to install security before becoming a victim, as it is with all other malware safeguards. Installing the most recent software updates and patches for your operating system and all apps, particularly for web browsers, is also a smart idea.

Cybercriminals are continually changing code and devising new delivery ways to insert updated scripts into your computer system. Being proactive and being up to date on the newest cybersecurity risks will aid in the detection of cryptojacking on your network and devices, as well as the avoidance of other sorts of cybersecurity attacks.

Use Browser Extensions:

Online browsers often deploy cryptojacking scripts, so use browser extensions specifically designed to combat cryptojacking. You may use specialist browser extensions like miner block, No Coin, and Anti Miner to stop cryptojackers throughout the web. You can install these extensions in several common browsers.

Install ad blockers:

Internet adverts frequently transmit these scripts, so a good way to stop them is by using an ad blocker. Ad Blocker Plus, for example, can both detect and prevent dangerous malware.

Disable JavaScript:

When browsing the internet, you may avoid malware from infecting your machine by deactivating JavaScript. However, although this prevents drive-by cryptojacking, it may also prevent you from accessing functions that you require.

Block websites that are known to provide cryptojacking scripts:

To avoid cryptojacking while accessing websites, make sure that each site is on a whitelist that you have thoroughly reviewed. You can also block known cryptojacking sites, but this may leave your device or network vulnerable to new cryptojacking websites. Cryptojacking may appear to be a relatively innocuous crime because the only thing stolen is the victim’s computer’s power. Criminals use computational resources for this illegal purpose without the victim’s knowledge or agreement, to make money illegally.


Cryptojacking, like ransomware, may impact your firm even if you have vigilant security staff. There is difficulty in detecting a hacking incident, especially if only a few systems are affected. Cryptomining code can elude signature-based detection methods; for example, desktop antivirus software will not identify it, making detection much more difficult.

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Picture of Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel is an engineer turned business owner of WPG Consulting. He is a techie enthusiast who believes in finding creative IT solutions to solve consumer problems.

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