Cryptocurrency service

Cryptojacking Attacks Continue To Target SSH Servers

cryptojacking attack

You can check the CPU usage of a website or app by opening Task Manager. A website with minimal media content but is taking up a lot of CPU power could have cryptomining scripts running on it. The attacker earns cryptocurrency coins every time a block is added to the blockchain. In 2018, in fact, cryptojacking unseated ransomware as the top cyber threat.

What can I mine with a CPU?

CPU mining is a crypto mining process that uses central processing unit cores to check blockchain transactions, solve mathematical puzzles, verify transaction blocks, and mint new coins. You can use an everyday computer or CPU mining rigs to mine cryptocurrencies.

Cryptojacking or malicious crypto mining is a growing business threat. Unlike ransomware and other cyber threats, cryptojacking code hides on computers, mobile devices, and servers and surreptitiously uses a machine’s resources to “mine” cryptocurrencies. Most users don’t notice anything unless it severely slows down the computer’s processing speed. Malicious cryptocurrency mining became prevalent in 2017, mostly due to the increase in value of various cryptocurrencies. Older variants of such malicious code were typically intended to infiltrate the victim’s device and install the mining software. In September 2017, a new cryptocurrency mining service was made available, named Coinhive. Unlike with other crypto mining services, Coinhive’s customers only needed to place a few lines of JavaScript into their web pages so as to enlist their visitors’ CPU power to mine cryptocurrency directly in-browser.

Why is cryptojacking popular?

Either way, code is not stored on the victim’s device; all it does is run complex mathematical problems and sends the results to a server under the cyber criminal’s control. Cyber criminals have several means to get a victim’s computer to start mining cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies, so the hacker only needs malware and a victim’s device to mine them.

  • The victim has nothing much to do even after the threat gets identified, because the hacker didn’t steal any data or information.
  • Also, consider that the attacker’s victims haven’t lost any money or data of their own, so there’s little incentive to identify the source once discovered.
  • Because many cryptojacking attacks are implemented through users’ web browsers, improve security on them as well.
  • Without going into too much complexity, the cryptomining process essentially turns computing resources into cryptocurrency coins.
  • Botnets, servers andcontent delivery systems appear to be the most lucrative attacks so far, and it’s no surprise as these can then spread the code to potentially thousands of sites without the need to attack them individually.
  • MiraiA has since evolved to carry out cryptomining attacks (see Next-gen Mirai botnet targets cryptocurrency mining operations).

Cryptojackers continue to hone their skills and are hacking more powerful hardware. Recently a group of cybercriminals targeted a European water utility plant and cryptojacked their operational technology network, which affected the management and performance of the facility. This type of cybercrime doesn’t require a great deal of technical skill compared to other cybercrime attacks. In addition, cryptojacking remains popular with criminals because it means more money for less risk, perhaps giving it an edge over ransomware. The cryptojacking software aims to use just enough processing power of the infected host machine to mine the cryptocurrency without slowing that machine too much that the user suspects foul play. Browser-based or in-browser cryptojacking tools inject scripts into popular websites or advertisements delivered to multiple domains.

Encrypted Threats

The value of your investment may fall as well as rise and you may get back less than your initial investment. Find out how Secarma can help take your cybersecurity to the next level by contacting one of our expert security consultants here. Finally, you’ll need to investigate how the software got into your system, that way you can fix the holes and improve your security posture off the back of the experience. Those who have advertised the fact have seen a good response and in many cases users are preferring this model over traditional ad laden sites. It has been estimated that the criminals behind the WannaCry attacks made off with£108,953worth of Bitcoin ransom.

Cryptojacking seems like a victimless crime, as no damage is done to a victim’s computer and no data is stolen. Of course, machines working harder than they should can be an indication of many different types of attack, but any sudden decrease in performance should be taken as a flag to investigate potential infection. Following global trends, all industries faced large increases of ransomware volume, including government (+1,885 percent), healthcare , education and retail . We have been using Synergos for a number of years to assist with Health and Safety accreditations and general health and safety advice. The truth is that the majority of your opponents are not technologically advanced.

Tips for Business To Preventing Cryptojacking

Our security analysts can monitor your network from afar and immediately notify you should anything untoward happen. SonicWall reported 97.1 million cryptojacking attacks in their 2022 report, a year-on-year rise of 19%, showing slow, steady, yet significant growth.

Is crypto mining based on luck?

Round Duration, nor the pool luck: blocks mined by other miners/pools. Mining is probabilistic, and the probabilities don't change based on past history of the pool nor the luck of other miners. Every hash is just as likely to result in a block find as every other hash.

Miners now need huge farms of computers with dedicated hardware and sky-high electricity costs to turn a profit. Obviously, this is out of reach for the majority of people – so cybercriminals came up with the idea of unknowingly using other people’s computer power. On the whole, crypto-miners will mine new cryptocurrency on devices they own. You may have seen the recent hubbub about crypto-enthusiasts buying up graphics cards to use in their mining operations, contributing to an already present shortage in the hardware. Graphics cards are particularly effective at solving the cryptographic maths involved in crypto-mining.

How to minimise risk of crypto specific attacks

Instead, by opting for mining software, they only stole a small amount of electricity from the victims. Crowdsourced mining has even been adopted how to prevent cryptojacking by some legitimate websites and is being considered by some large publishers as an alternative source of income from adblocking savvy readers.

cryptojacking attack

Recent research has found that the level of illicit cryptocurrency mining is closely aligned with the value of Monero. The research also found that the volume of illicit mining detected in the wild increased in line with the rising value of Monero. Unlike serious data breaches, phishing attacks, ransomware and banking Trojans, cryptojacking doesn’t have major impact on the victim.

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In this blog post, we examine what cryptocurrency is, how it works, and how its fundamental principles of operation can encourage the illicit activity known as cryptojacking. We also investigate the scale of the problem to date, and how it can best be guarded against, as well as detected should it occur.

cryptojacking attack

Beyond this, successfully defending against cryptojacking relies on techniques used to protect against any other form of attack. If your employees bring their own devices to work, this can also be a source of infection when these devices use the same networks or are connected to internal systems.

Known Cryptojacking Threats

Be sure to install an anti-spam/anti-malware/anti-virus plugin to protect and monitor your organisation’s websites. Early detection is vital, as it can prevent those using your website from becoming infected. Cryptojacking doesn’t require a download, starts instantly, and works efficiently.

cryptojacking attack
Author: Barbara Kollmeyer

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