What is cryptojacking? How to prevent, detect, and recover from it

Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of someone else’s computer to mine cryptocurrency. Hackers do this by either getting the victim to click on a malicious link in an email that loads cryptomining code on the computer, or by infecting a website or online ad with JavaScript code that auto-executes once loaded in the victim’s browser. Either way, the cryptojacking code then works in the background as unsuspecting victims use their computers normally. The only sign they might notice is slower performance or lags in execution.

No one knows for certain how much cryptocurrency is mined through cryptojacking, but there’s no question that the practice is rampant. Browser-based cryptojacking is growing fast. Last November, Adguard reported a 31 percent growth rate for in-browser cryptojacking. Its research found 33,000 websites running cryptomining scripts. Adguard estimated that those site had a billion combined monthly visitors. This February, The Bad Packet Report found 34,474 sites running Coinhive, the most popular JavaScript miner that is also used for legitimate cryptomining activity. The simple reason why cryptojacking is becoming more popular with hackers is more money for less risk. “Hackers see cryptojacking as a cheaper, more profitable alternative to ransomware,” says Alex Vaystikh, CTO and cofounder of SecBI.

Read more about what cryptojacking is, why it is on the rise and how you can prevent, detect and recover from it, on CSO.

Track the strategic threats to your business with the Threat Brief, delivered to your email daily.

Subscribe Here