Cryptojacking has been on the rise with hackers targeting financial firms. It is a type of cyber attack which involves hijacking a computer and using its power to mine cryptocurrencies.
It is a malicious activity where unauthorized individuals or software use someone else’s computer or device to mine cryptocurrency without their knowledge or consent. It often involves infecting a system with malware that exploits its processing power to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Monero, benefiting the attacker.
Recently cryptojacking has been on the rise with hackers increasingly targeting financial firms such as banks and trading houses, according to cybersecurity firm SonicWall.
Cryptojackers and Privacy Coin Monero
Ask anyone knowledgeable about the crypto market what’s the shadiest digital currency out there right now and without hesitation it’s likely they’ll tell you it’s Monero. Sometimes referred to as “the drug dealer’s cryptocurrency of choice” because of its sharp focus on privacy, Monero was founded in 2014, as reported in Investing.com.
It is common for cryptojackers to mine privacy cryptocurrency such as Monero which is often used by cybercriminals. Due to Monero’s privacy features it has often attracted cypherpunks who are all for privacy which is not provided in other cryptocurrencies. Monero has been linked to illicit activities such as money laundering, darknet markets, ransomware, cryptojacking.
Crackonosh Malware Case
According to a report from security company Avast, in 2021 Crackonosh installed itself by replacing critical Windows system files and abusing the Windows Safe mode to impair system defenses. This malware further protects itself by disabling security software, operating system updates and employs other anti-analysis techniques to prevent discovery, making it very difficult to detect and remove.
Crackonosh showed the risk involved when it comes to downloading cracked software and demonstrates that it is highly profitable for attackers. Crackonosh has been circulating since at least June 2018 and has yielded over $2,000,000 for its authors in Monero from over 222,000 infected systems worldwide. As long as people continue to download cracked software, attacks like these will continue to be profitable for attackers.
Avast notes that the key take-away from this is that you really can’t get something for nothing and when you try to steal software, odds are someone is trying to steal from you.
How to Protect Against Cryptojacking
To protect against cryptojacking, you can:
- Use Antivirus Software: Regularly update and use reputable antivirus or anti-malware software to detect and remove malicious programs.
- Keep Software Updated: Ensure your operating system, browsers, and security software are up to date to patch vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cryptojacking scripts.
- Browser Extensions: Consider using browser extensions or plugins that block cryptocurrency mining scripts when browsing.
- Firewall Settings: Configure your firewall to block mining scripts and suspicious connections.
- Adopt Ad-Blockers: Some cryptojacking scripts are delivered through online ads. Using ad-blockers can mitigate this risk.
- Educate Users: Train users to recognize phishing attempts and suspicious websites that may harbor cryptojacking scripts.
- Monitor System Performance: Keep an eye on your system’s performance for any sudden slowdowns, as excessive resource usage could indicate cryptojacking.
- Network Security: Implement strong network security measures to prevent unauthorized access to your devices and systems.
By combining these practices, you can enhance your defenses against cryptojacking threats.
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