Various Types & Effects of Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking, also known as cryptomining, has become an emerging online threat that hones in on cryptocurrencies on computers, mobile devices, and data networks. This method uses a machine's own resources to mine forms of online currency, takes over web browsers, targets small cryptocurrency farms, and compromises various devices.

The big push behind cryptojacking schemes is to take advantage of gaps in network systems and get as much cryptocurrency as you can before being found out. But unlike many other online threats, cryptojacking is designed to stay utterly undetected from users. And in the age of COVID-19, where more people than ever are at home and online, purchasing more goods through their phones and laptops, the threat of more cryptojacking schemes is rising.

What types of cryptojacking risks are there?

Malicious cryptojacking schemes fall into one of three primary categories. They include:

  • In-Browser Javascript Mining: This occurs when a visitor connects to a website that is hosting cryptomining javascript. While connected to the website, the mining script devotes resources from the client machine to start solving computations and cryptomining for currencies. As long as the visitor stays on the website to watch a video or browse items on Amazon, for instance, the mining script continues to execute and mine for cryptocurrency. The website owner may have installed the cryptomining javascript for monetization, similar to how news sites monetize their content by allowing advertisements to be placed as banners on webpages. On the other hand, a hacker may have compromised the website itself through a backdoor. In this case, the hacker may have installed a cryptomining script along with relevant banking information to funnel proceeds into a digital wallet. 
  • Local Device Infection: This happens when a user initiates an unverified or compromised download. In this situation, the site can download a piece of malicious software, or malware, in the background and begin executing cryptojacking scripts without any warning or interaction with the user. Once a site is infected, the local device will mine crypto for the bad actor until the malware is removed entirely.
  • Infected Servers: Hackers look for common exploits, such as flaws in authentication, or look for machines with weak passwords. Once infected, the machines put a significant amount of resources to cryptomining efforts. If left unnoticed for a substantial period, bad actors can accumulate significant profits. Sometimes this kind of infection happens because of weak passwords or misconfigured network settings.

What are the effects of cryptojacking?

The scripts within cryptojacking schemes are different from other kinds of malware because they don't directly damage the computers or data they're taking over. Instead, hackers steal CPU processing resources and power from victims. Over long periods, high levels of cryptojacking use and increased temperature caused by cryptojacking schemes can expedite the general wear and tear on a machine and shorten its overall lifespan.

Affected devices end up using their resources to mine for the currency, which slows them down significantly. As the mining process requires a considerable amount of energy, the electricity that's needed during cryptojacking schemes increases. For an individual user, a slow-running computer or tablet may just be an annoyance. But for an organization with hundreds or thousands of computers and multiple network devices, this means a major loss of time and money. Not only are they losing money due to cryptomining- they're also losing money having to operate more slowly on top of fixing infected devices.

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.

Cost of Cyber Crime

Recent Posts


See all