What is cryptojacking and how does it affect me?

10/25/2021 | by SandStorm IT

crypto currency

Cryptojacking is a term that has been making its rounds in the news lately. Rightfully so, many users are worried about being caught up in these attacks. So what is cryptojacking exactly? Basically, cryptojacking is an attack which secretly harnesses the power of your computer to “mine” for cryptocurrencies, which the attackers can later exchange for paper currency or keep for its value. The good news is that the majority of these attacks will not result in permanent damage to your system or data loss. Since the attackers in these cases aim to utilize your system’s computing resources, it would do them no good to render your computer unusable.

How do I know if I am being cryptojacked?

Without tools to assist in detection, it can be difficult to tell when you are falling victim to a cryptojacking attack. The most tell-tale sign is slow performance, but this is a common complaint from end users that is a symptom of a variety of issues, which makes such an attack hard to deduce from slow performance alone. Some cryptojacking programs even go so far as to shut off mining activity while the user is on the computer to help prevent detection. For most users, your best bet to determining if your machine is being used to cryptomine will just be to run an anti-malware program.

How can I prevent this from happening?

The typical malware prevention steps apply here: update all your software regularly, and do not download and run anything you do not trust before scanning it with an anti-malware tool. This will help prevent cryptojacking programs from being installed on your computer in the first place, where they could potentially run whenever the computer is powered on. There is also the possibility of getting cryptojacked while browsing the web normally, though this will only persist while you are on the nefarious website, since it is not actually downloaded and installed on your computer. This is able to happen because of JavaScript code the website instructs your browser to run. You can disable running JavaScript in your browser’s settings, but many websites require JavaScript to be turned on for them to function properly.

If you believe there is some kind of cryptojacking or any other type of security issue going on with your machine, don’t hesitate to call the IT experts at SandStorm IT at 901-475-0275. We can help check your computer and resolve any pending issues.

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