What is cryptojacking and how to stay protected – A comprehensive guide

Cryptojacking first made headlines in 2017 when numerous high profile websites were hit by hackers. Whenever internet users visited these infected sites, the hackers would hijack the user’s computer to use it to mine cryptocurrency.

What is cryptojacking?

To understand what cryptojacking is, you first need to understand how cryptocurrency mining works. If you are familiar with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, you probably know that these currencies are not regulated.

These decentralized currencies use a distribution database referred to as a blockchain, regularly updated with information about transactions.

Cryptocurrencies rely on people for the computing power required to build these blocks. People who supply this computing power, also referred to as miners, are rewarded with cryptocurrency for their effort. This computing power requires expensive hardware to be possible. This is why most miners use cryptojacking, where they use the resources of unsuspecting computer users to mine cryptocurrencies.

Hackers send malicious codes to computer users where they hide cryptomining codes in the link. They can also infect websites and online ads with an auto-execution JavaScript code that activates once it is loaded in the browser. Once successful, the code works in the background without affecting the normal functions of the computer, making it almost impossible for the user to notice.

How to stay protected from cryptojacking

Educate your employees

Train your employees to report whenever they notice a computer is running slower than usual or suddenly overheating. Also, educate them on cybersecurity, cryptojacking threats, and why they should not click on malicious links online or in emails.

Train the IT team

It is essential to ensure that your IT department is trained on the best practices for detecting and stopping cryptojacking. They should be able to detect the first signs of cryptojacking and have the necessary skills to take immediate action against the practice.

Using anti-cryptomining extensions

Since cryptojacking scripts are deployed in web browsers, using anti-cryptomining browser extensions across the web can protect your devices against cryptojacking. You can block cryptominers like Anti Miner, No Coin, and MinerBlock using these extensions.

Disabling JavaScript

Whenever you are online, disabling your JavaScript is ideal for protecting your machine from cryptojacking codes. Even so, it is important to remember that disabling JavaScript blocks most of your browsing functions.

Using Ad-blockers

Website ads are common avenues used by cryptominers to send cryptojacking scripts. To protect your device, consider investing in ad-blockers that can detect and block malicious codes used for cryptomining.

Learning about cryptojacking is the first line of defense against cryptominers. With these tips, you can stop cryptominers on their tracks.

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