Cryptojackers are known to exploit network vulnerabilities and steal computer resources as a way to mine for cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Monero, or Ethereum, for the benefit of the attacker. They spread malware in a variety of ways, often by planting infectious viruses across the web.
These viruses and ransomware-like tactics are used to plant malicious code on victims’ systems, which work quietly in the background without the victims’ knowledge. Once the code is planted, it sends the results back to the hacker.
Cryptojacking can occur through various methods:
Malware Infections: Cryptojacking malware can be distributed through malicious downloads, infected websites, or email attachments. Once the malware infects a system, it runs in the background, utilizing the device’s CPU or GPU resources to mine cryptocurrencies.
Browser-based Mining: In this approach, cryptojacking scripts are injected into websites or advertisements. When a user visits an infected website or interacts with the compromised advertisement, the script runs in the browser, using the device’s processing power to mine cryptocurrency.
The goal of cryptojackers is to exploit the computational power of multiple infected devices, creating a network of compromised systems known as a botnet. By distributing the mining workload across many devices, the attackers can mine cryptocurrency more efficiently and generate profits without incurring the costs associated with mining hardware or electricity.
Cryptojacking can have several negative consequences for victims:
- Slowed Performance: Cryptojacking consumes system resources, resulting in decreased performance and slower response times for legitimate applications and tasks.
- Increased Power Consumption: The intensive mining operations carried out by cryptojacking malware can significantly increase power consumption, leading to higher energy bills for the victim.
Device Damage: The excessive use of CPU or GPU resources caused by cryptojacking can lead to overheating, which may result in hardware damage or premature failure.