Cyberthreats: Cryptomining vs. Cryptojacking

Cryptocurrency mining, or cryptomining, is a process in which transactions for various forms of cryptocurrency are added to the blockchain. Also known as Bitcoin mining, cryptomining has increased as an activity as cryptocurrency usage itself has grown in the last few years.

In fact, cryptomining has skyrocketed in recent years, jumping by more than 8,500%. Each time a cryptocurrency transaction is made, a crypto miner is responsible for ensuring the authenticity of the information being shared and updating the blockchain. But throughout this entire process, cryptominers' work is upended by another rising activity: cryptojacking.

They may sound the same, but there are some major differences between cryptomining and cryptojacking. Read on for a better look at the difference between the two.

What is Cryptomining?

Cryptomining is an attractive activity for those looking to strike it rich with digital currency. Cryptomining generates a small income for a miner, in most situations, only earning a dollar per day for someone using their dedicated hardware.

To get started in mining, cryptocurrency miners need dedicated hardware with a specialized graphical processing unit chip, sufficient cooling means for the computer’s hardware, a legitimate cryptomining software, and membership in online currency exchange and an online mining pool.

All in all, cryptomining is completely legal for those interested in cutting out their own corner of the rising cryptocurrency environment.

What is Cryptojacking?

While cryptominers operate legally, where they operate—the still young and evolving crypto blockchain—is a digital goldmine for those looking to take advantage of the system. Cryptojacking schemes have seen a rise in recent years in which someone breaks into a cryptominer's network and installs their own cryptomining software so they can steal their computer power and electricity. Or, they break into their web server and add in browser-based cryptomining code that mines whenever someone visits their website.

But a cryptojacker doesn’t just target legitimate crypt miners. They can target an individual or company, using their CPU or web server as a platform to mine currency illegally through Wi-Fi access.

Cryptojacking has become a severe worldwide problem. Malware has been developed to help crooks break in and find a couple of computers to infiltrate and set loose a worm that distributes their cryptojacking attack around a network. The more computers broken into and the more servers taken over, the more money a cryptojacker makes.

Cryptojacking may seem like a victimless crime, at least when it’s compared to ransomware attacks that cost millions. But, in the long run, a couple dollars a day adds up.

Companies can install ad-blocking extensions that keep cryptojacking schemes away. These extensions are added to web browsers for an extra layer of defense. But even with these cyber protection measures, it’s important to keep an eye out for phishing and spam emails that come through and dubious links, unknown attachments, and strange subject lines.

About Axis Insurance

Axis Insurance Services, we aim to help our customers identify their exposures and protect themselves. Founded in 1999, we offer insurance programs to a wide variety of professionals and industries including attorneys, real estate, healthcare, architects, and more, and also have a wholesale division. We pride ourselves on offering flexible insurance coverage tailored specifically to each customer’s needs. To learn more about our solutions, contact us at (877) 787-5258 to speak with one of our professionals.

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