What is Cryptojacking? How does it work?

In this article we have prepared for those who are wondering what Cryptojacking is or how it works, we explain in detail everything you need to know about Cryptojacking. Here are the details.

What is Cryptojacking?

Cryptojacking, or “crypto theft”, is a type of online threat where a cybercriminal secretly uses a victim’s processing power and bandwidth to generate cryptocurrencies. These cyber-attackers do not use their own resources to generate cryptocurrencies, they leverage the power of the victim’s devices (computer, phone, other smart devices), which allows them to save on hardware investment and energy. 

The intent of this attack is not to harm the victim in any way or to obtain their personal information. Literally, its aim is to make more profit.

It is not an easy task for a miner to produce cryptocurrencies. It needs powerful systems and cheap energy power. This is the case for coins mining with the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus protocol. Therefore, avoiding such an investment and resorting to such a way further increases the profit of the malicious miner.

How to Prevent Cryptojacking?

First of all, when you install an add-on on your browser, you should be aware of what kind of add-on you are downloading. You should do this especially when you download the plugin online. In addition, you can use ad-blocker-safe plugins. As this attack became widespread, ad-blocking plugins blocked these mining libraries.

You should also be careful when downloading programs from free download sites. Try not to use special download managers that always bundle extra programs with the app you choose to download. Also, choose secure websites.

How Cryptojacking Works

Cyber ​​attackers have several methods to sneak the crypto mining script onto the victim’s device. The most common methods are similar to other malware that infiltrates your computer through online interactions, especially through web browsers and email.

In short, it can be transmitted in two ways: via a web browser or with a package code. If you install a malicious browser extension, it can hijack your browser and change settings, as well as install the necessary code for crypto theft.

Bundling is a common method used to distribute malware. It can happen when apps that were once popular but are no longer updated are cracked by hackers who then inject code, thus becoming a trojan horse for their malware.

There is also web-based cryptojacking. Web-based ones, malicious activity is executed by code that runs inside a website, causing the victim’s web browser to automatically mine cryptocurrencies throughout the visit. Such web-based miners are secretly added to a wide range of websites, regardless of popularity or category.

In most cases, the preferred cryptocurrency to be mined is  Monero because the mining process does not require as much processing power as bitcoin. In addition, the increased privacy and anonymity that Monero offers makes it very difficult to track transactions. 

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