Cryptojacking – cryptocurrency mining. Is it hacking attacks?

cryptojacking crypto jacking

What is Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking is defined as the secret use of your computing device to mine cryptocurrency. Hackers engage in cryptojacking when they use a user’s browser to harvest cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Sometimes cryptojacking used to be confined to the victim unknowingly installing a program that secretly mines cryptocurrency.
As we can read on Digiday, each addition to the ledger creates more of the currency, so having access to computing power is essential for anyone trying to make a lot of money from cryptocurrencies.

The most infamous examples of cryptojacking occurred this fall when hackers injected their mining code into the websites of publishers without the publishers’ knowledge.

How Cryptojacking works?

Cryptojacking was created in September, when a new technology for digging Monero cryptocurrencies in web browsers appeared. The script was written in JavaScript and you can easily embed it on any page. When a computer user visits such an infected site, the computing power of his device is taken over for the purpose of digging the cryptocurrency. The more time a user spends on this type of site, the more CPU cycles can be used for cybercriminals’ needs. This explains why cryptojacking sites are usually selected where users stay for hours watching illegal series or movies. Proceeding can be very profitable – criminals attacking popular services, such as The Pirate Bay, can earn up to 12 thousand dollars a month.

Tools like Coinhive, which let users mine cryptocurrency directly in the browsers, came out in the fall.

How to protect yourself?

If you’re on a desktop or laptop with lots of processor speed and memory, you might not even notice in-browser cryptojacking. The simplest way to protect yourself from cryptojacking is to install a simple cryptojacking blocker. Installing a crypto jacking blocker means adding a browser extension that blocks a list of domains associated with jacking code.
As Hackerbits said “NoCoin is currently the most widely installed extension. Rafael Keramidas, the extension author, created extensions for both Chrome and Firefox.”

But it works both ways. Coinhive, the cryptojacking software that’s used in the Archive Poster extension, is available to download and is advertised as a way to “monetize your business with your users’ cpu power”. However, websites and software that use it without a clear and visible warning to users are usually frowned upon at the very least.