Cryptojacking: The Rising Crime Of Mining Digital Currency


Cryptojacking – RedDefense Global is always pending to analyze the latest technological attacks to be at the forefront of cyber-security. We analyze in depth the new trendy cybercrime: CRYPTOJACKING.

Cryptojacking and Cryptocurrency

A cryptocurrency is a digital and global monetary system; the best known is the famous Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin allow people to send or receive money over the internet, even to someone they do not know or trust. The core innovation that makes any cryptocurrency special is that it uses consensus on a massive peer-to-peer network to verify transactions, without a third party. This results in a system where payments are not reversible, accounts cannot be frozen, and transaction fees are much lower. Major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are also the de facto currency for cybercrime in darknet markets or in paying for ransomware attacks.

Cryptocurrency is purchased through an online exchange. However, it can also be obtained through a process called “mining”, whereby a powerful network of computers solves complex equations to verify transactions and/or cause new digital currency to be released. The hardware and resources required to power that machinery can be quite expensive.

Cryptojacking as an Attack Scheme

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Not wanting to miss out on this potentially lucrative opportunity, but also looking for a scheme that attracts less attention from victims and, in turn, government agencies that enforce the law, cybercriminals have developed malware that mines cryptocurrencies using the power of processing of foreign computers. In this way, they avoid paying electricity bills and thus extract cryptocurrencies with the power of execution of unsuspecting third parties. Deliberately at a time when the third party’s computer and bandwidth are not in use, the utility of the malware is maximized.

Why is cryptojacking on the rise?

No one knows for sure how much cryptocurrency is mined through cryptojacking, but there is no question that the practice is rampant. Search engine-based cryptojacking is growing rapidly. In 2018, Adguard reported a 31 percent growth rate for in-browser cryptojacking. His research found 33,000 websites running crypto mining scripts. Adguard estimated that those sites had 1 billion combined monthly visitors.

The Price of Cryptojacking On Your Personal Computer

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By injecting a crypojacking script into the router, any device behind the router that connects to access the internet is compromised. Each website that the victim visits on all devices on the network is hijacked because it is happening at the router level. So, there is a scalability that really makes sense to an attacker. If they compromise a router in a school or library, they can have hundreds of machines behind them.

Some think that cryptojacking is a victimless crime. HOW WRONG ARE THEY; Damages to a victim can vary, but are likely to include one or more of the following:

  1. Excess bandwidth allocations, resulting in additional costs (for example, power and electricity) or “throttling” (deliberate regulation of the data transfer rate) by Internet service providers.
  2. The risk of hardware property damage due to overheating and other mechanical failure or destruction, as well as the loss of locally stored data if the hardware fails.
  3. Business interruption due to hardware failures and data loss, but also due to a slowdown in the ability to conduct business due to the immobilization of critical resources from mining activities, and
  4. Increased security risk. RedDefense Global has warned that in the efforts of cybercriminals to make their malware more productive, other additional security systems can also be disabled and proceed to open ports and install malware.

Beware of Cryptojacking Malware

This attack is carried out by inserting scripts into advertisements on websites, the malware is never installed on the computer system, but is executed through the web browser, where it directs the infected machine to carry out mining activities for the benefit of the cybercriminal .

The crucial thing about cryptojacking is that it is a very easy attack to perform compared to other types of attacks. In this way, this type of attack is always profitable. More and more attackers are attracted to the implementation and distribution of this type of malware because it provides quick profits and an attack with such potential will not go away anytime soon.

How to Prevent a Cryptojacking Attack

Knowing the vulnerabilities in your technology system and the ways in which attackers could exploit them is vital to preventing cryptojacking and ransomware attacks. That is what we do in RedDefense Global; identify, test, and mitigate the vulnerabilities of your technological system. With that in mind, RedDefense Global testing team will simulate a real attack on your networks, applications, devices and /or people to demonstrate the current level of security of your technological systems.