What is Cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking involves a cybercriminal installing malware on a victim’s computer or other connected device, turning it into a cryptocurrency miner. Also referred to as malicious mining, this can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including fileless malware, through a website with an embedded mining script, and more. While Bitcoin is the best known cryptocurrency, the latest cryptojacking efforts tend to focus on other, more private cryptocurrencies including Monero.

How to Recognize This Threat: The outward signs of a device becoming an unwitting cryptominer are not obvious. Similar to becoming a zombie in a botnet, a user may first simply notice a slowdown in performance, or inexplicably increased processing activity. For network scenarios, this activity could max out servers in come cases as cryptojackers turn devices into a 24×7 cryptominer. Regardless, cryptojacking victims may have nothing to do with cryptocurrency. Targets can be random.

How to Prevent This Threat: As with any malicious threat, the best defense against cryptojacking is a layered security approach. That means a next generation firewall with advanced security services, as well as email & endpoint protection. In addition, users trained to recognize and avoid suspicious links, sites, & attachments can help avoid infection.