Just as the world was getting fed up of invisible Internet dangers, then in comes “cryptojacking”. Have no idea what this is? It’s basically the secret use of a computing device to mine Cryptocurrency. And while you are figuring out its definition, your browser could be mining without your knowledge.
How Your Device Gets Infected
How bad can it be? It doesn’t need a program to get installed. You just need to browse an infected site and your device gets infected.
The past few weeks has seen cryptojacking become famous among hackers. I mean, they don’t need to sneak software into your system to get it going. That makes it a goldmine for hackers, more so because they can do it anonymously.
It’s even worse, considering you might be innocently browsing an infected page. It hacks your device for profit without you noticing. You won’t even notice a change in performance
Who Invented It?
It started as a good idea in mid-September. Coinhive wrote a script with possibilities of mining Cryptocurrency when a page loads. The following weeks, the usual suspects, The Pirate Bay torrenting site, had already incorporated it. And when it gets to Pirate Bay, it’s no longer a secret. Copycats are everywhere.
That was months ago. Today, clever hackers have even found ways to inject scripts to websites and mine without the site owners realising. Yes, you might want to check your site.
But there is hope. Of course, this hasn’t passed the desks of security researchers without being noticed. Troy Murch, an active researcher in the industry noticed a spike when the processor is loading when subjected to an infected site.
So what do you need in order to protect yourself? Simple, add the usual suspects sites to your ad-blocker. But this may not be enough, because you never know who has been infected – I mean – we’ve seen sites that don’t know they are being used to mine.
So, what’s the other option?
A chrome extension – no coin. Just as its name suggests, it blocks Coinhive mining and protects your device from being used. In addition, if you are a miner as well, the extension also comes in handy at protecting you.
Yes, it’s just not safe by yourself out there, even for miners themselves. The Internet has seen a vast array of malware and force ads walloping themselves in malicious websites. As if that’s not enough it has also seen malwares that steal Cryptocurrency wallets and mine at the same time. Talk about a match made in hell.
Any Good Things That Come With Cryptojacking?
Cryptojacking is not entirely such a bad thing. Coinhive intended to use it for sites to generate revenue. Charitable sites that raise funds after a disaster would benefit more from this script.
Even better? Cryptojacking was seen as an alternative to ads. Wouldn’t you prefer to give up a few of your CPU cycles rather than having numerous pop up ads on the site you are browsing?
It’s a promising innovation and we can only hope it evolves to be secure for people to trust using it. You might want to consider mining, before being mined