Cryptojacking, also known as malicious crypto-mining, is becoming an increasingly emerging online threat that targets computers and mobile devices. It’s a kind of virus that stays hidden on a computer or mobile device and uses a machine's tools to mine, or gather, forms of online money known as cryptocurrency. It’s a rising danger that can take over web browsers, on top of compromising all kinds of electronic devices in its path.
Like most other malicious cyberattacks on enterprises, the purpose of a cryptojacking Cyberattack is all about profit. However, unlike many cyber threats, cryptojacking is made to stay hidden from users. For now, detection tools are helping the efforts to detect threats through a mix of machine learning and artificial intelligence to prevent malicious programs from being implemented.
What is Cryptojacking?
According to a recent report, cases of cryptojacking have risen by more than 400 percent in the last three years alone. Cryptojacking is a way for hackers to get free money without putting in a good deal of effort. Hackers can hijack someone else’s machine with only a few lines of code and wait for the digital currency to come rolling in.
This ends up leaving the crypto victim bearing the weight and cost of the computations necessary to mine cryptocurrency. In the end, the cybercriminals get the crypto tokens the person or business is mining and steals as much sensitive information as they want in the process.
How Cryptojacking Works
Cryptojacking threats are evolving every day, but there are a few ways it usually occurs. One of the more popular methods is to use malicious emails that install crypto-mining code on a computer network. This happens through phishing emails and efforts that prey on someone's naivety, trust, and negligence.
The victim on the receiving end of an email gets a seemingly harmless message with a link or attachment that looks legitimate. When they click on or download the attachment, it runs a code that then downloads the crypto-mining script on the computer. From there, the script works without the victim being aware of it.
Another way cryptojacking is performed is through web browser mining. In this method, hackers infuse a crypto mining script on a website or in an ad spread throughout multiple websites. When the victim ends up landing on the infected site, or a malicious ad comes up in their browser, the script automatically executes the cryptojacking steps. In both of these techniques, the code solves complicated mathematical problems and sends the answers to the hacker’s server while the victim is oblivious to what’s going on.
The Future of Cryptojacking and How to Detect It
There is still conversation around the legitimacy of cryptocurrency in the financial sector regarding its actual value. But one thing’s for sure, to hackers, cryptocurrency is exceedingly valuable. Over the last few years, currencies like Bitcoin and Monero have seen huge fluctuations, worth as little as $6,000 to as much as $40,000 within a few months.
Seeing the volatility of cryptojacking, hackers will continue to strike while the iron is hot. This means that businesses need to be on their guard in the detection and cyber insurance methods. As with any malware infection and cyber risks, there are some signs victims should be aware of.
If a network or computer is slow or has prolonged response time, overheats on a more regular basis, or has high processor usage, then there is probably some crypto issues taking place. Businesses should not only install the latest malware protection and data security across their networks, but they should make sure to invest in effective Cyber Liability Insurance.
Companies can also install ad-blocking or anti-crypto mining extensions on web browsers for an extra layer of defense. As always, it’s vital to be sure to stay mindful of phishing emails, dubious links, and unknown attachments. Through awareness and the right tools and resources, businesses can limit their susceptibility to attacks and losses connected to cryptojacking.
About Axis Insurance
At 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.