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Innovation and technology multiply by leaps and bounds, every day we are faced with new features or programs in the digital world. But every coin has two sides, technological advances not only lead to development and improvement but also involve the threat of cybercrime.
We collect a ton of news related to data breaches and malicious hacker attacks. Day by day, the fashion for cryptocurrencies is growing rapidly, everyone wants to invest and make billions of gross profits in the cryptocurrency market, the risk is high, but the profit is much higher than the risk. This is a good way to make money, but it is not controlled.
Cybercriminal attacks, Through spear phishing, social engineering, malware distribution, and website degradation, but in September 2017, cryptojacking took over the Internet and quickly became one of the most prevalent forms of malware.
Here we discuss one of the most common cybercrimes, namely crypto jacking.
What is Crypto Jacking?
Basically, in Crypto jacking, a hacker or cybercriminal gains unauthorized access to a specific device without the user’s consent, unlike other threats, it is designed to remain completely hidden from the victim, it is in some way unique compared to other malware attacks, this is not necessarily after the user data, it targets the processing power.
This is malicious cryptocurrency mining that occurs when cybercriminals break into work and personal computers, laptops, and mobile devices to install the software. This software uses the power and resources of a computer to mine cryptocurrency or steal cryptocurrency wallets belonging to unsuspecting victims. In this attack, malware infiltrates a device to use its resources to mine cryptocurrencies.
The malware is based on XMRig, a legitimate open-source cryptocurrency mining project. However, this legitimate script has been hijacked by malware developers for fraudulent cryptocurrency mining. This is mainly done by hackers who want to make a profit, but do not want to bear the risks and costs.
This is the simple reason why cryptojacking is becoming more and more popular among hackers. Investing in bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is quite expensive. A person has to bear the costs of expensive mining equipment, large electricity bills, and much more.
The cryptocurrency, which is mostly mined on any personal device, is commonly known as Monero, which is quite difficult to trace, making it attractive to hackers or cybercriminals. The attackers behind the distribution of WinstarNssmMiner mined 133 Monero, which is approximately $ 26,500. The motivation behind the crypto jacking attack is simple: money.
Mining cryptocurrency can be very profitable, but making a profit is difficult without funds to cover significant costs. Crypto jacking is growing, hackers are coming up with new ways to steal computing resources and mine cryptocurrencies. It is estimated that up to 25% of organizations experienced crypto jacking activity in their cloud environments in the same year.
Researchers have also uncovered a new crypto jacking scheme that uses a leaked NSA exploit, EternalBlue, to infect vulnerable Windows servers. Crypto jacking is becoming an increasingly popular way for scammers and criminals to extract money from their goals in the form of cryptocurrency, which makes some investors back off or think twice about investing in the cryptocurrency market.
How Crypto Jacking is done?
Cybercriminals hack devices to install cryptojacking software. The software runs in the background, mining cryptocurrency or stealing from cryptocurrency wallets. Hackers do this mainly in two ways: trick victims into downloading the crypto mining code onto their computers.
This is done through phishing tactics, forcing the victim to click a malicious link in an email that downloads the crypto mining code to the computer, the code using the link puts the mining script on the computer, and then that script runs on the Hackers device in the background while the victim is running, or an alternative approach to cryptojacking is sometimes called the “breakout” of crypto mining.
In both methods, the code performs complex mathematical tasks on the victim’s computers and sends the results to a server controlled by the attacker.
Crypto jacking doesn’t even require significant technical skills. Some cryptocurrency mining scripts have infection capabilities that allow them to infect other devices and servers on the network. It also makes them difficult to find and remove; maintaining persistence on the network is in the best financial interests of crypto jacking.
These are some of the signs that you are a victim of crypto jacking. Noticeable decrease in device performance, overheating of batteries on devices, disconnection of devices due to lack of available processing power, decreased performance of your device. or router, electricity costs are unexpectedly high, and the biggest impact is that it increases the costs of a person or business who is a victim of crypto jacking.
The main stages of crypto jacking:
- Hack an asset to embed a script
- Run the cryptocurrency mining script
- Crypto mining begins
- Solution algorithms
- Jackers Receives Cryptocurrency Rewards
However, according to a report by security company Kaspersky, cases of crypto jacking occurred in the first quarter of 2021. The report shows that 432,171 users encountered minors on their devices in the first quarter of 2021. 200 045 in March. The number of unique changes made to miners has also more than quadrupled from 3,815 to 16,934. Unique changes are changes made to the miner’s code to mine a new type of currency or adapt to new systems. In the first quarter of 2021, Kaspersky Lab researchers saw 23894 new changes in miners.